19 July 2010
Policy determination for fresh stone fruit from California, Idaho, Oregon And Washington, the United States of America
This Biosecurity Australia Advice notifies stakeholders that Australia’s Director of Animal and Plant Quarantine has determined a policy for the importation of fresh stone fruit from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington in the United States of America (USA). The importation of fresh stone fruit may be permitted subject to the Quarantine Act 1908, the application of phytosanitary measures as specified in the Final import risk analysis report for fresh stone fruit from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington and the application of suitable emergency measures for Drosophila suzukii.
In response to a proposal from the USA, Biosecurity Australia completed an import risk analysis (IRA) on fresh stone fruit from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The IRA was completed in accordance with the Import Risk Analysis Handbook 2007 (update 2009) provisions for a standard regulated process.
The IRA process commenced on 13 March 2008 (BAA 2008/04). A draft IRA report was released for stakeholder comment on 29 April 2008 (BAA 2008/12). On 15 March 2010, the provisional final report was released for a period of 30 days (BAA 2010/05), during which appeals could be made on the basis of a failure by Biosecurity Australia to follow proper process as set out in the IRA handbook. Stakeholders were notified on 23 April 2010 (BAA 2010/12) that an Import Risk Analysis Appeals Panel (IRAAP) would be convened to consider two appeals submitted.
The IRAAP disallowed the two appeals against the IRA on 31 May 2010. The Panel's findings are available.
However, in response to comments made by the IRAAP, Biosecurity Australia has provided further clarification in the summary of the final IRA report on how the spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, will be assessed. This inclusion highlights that Biosecurity Australia is currently conducting a separate pest risk analysis for SWD (BAA 2010/09, 31 March 2010). Stakeholders will have an opportunity, through a 60-day period, to comment on the pest risk analysis for SWD, including any measures proposed to manage this pest. Emergency measures have been put in place to ensure this pest does not enter Australia in a viable state, and will remain in place until such time as the pest risk analysis is concluded and any long term measures required to manage the ongoing risk associated with imports of stone fruit have been implemented.
The Director of Animal and Plant Quarantine has made a policy determination to permit the entry of fresh stone fruit from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to Australia. Importation of fresh stone fruit from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington can now be permitted, subject to the Quarantine Act 1908 and Quarantine Proclamation 1998, the application of phytosanitary measures as specified in the Final import risk analysis report for fresh stone fruit from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington and the application of suitable emergency measures for SWD. These measures are designed to limit the quarantine risks to a level that is acceptably low, in order to achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection.
The quarantine measures include sourcing fruit from pest free areas, in-field control measures, orchard surveys, fruit cutting in the packing house, visual inspection and remedial action if quarantine pests are detected. These measures will be supported by an operational system that maintains and verifies the quarantine status of consignments to Australia, through inspection by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS). An AQIS officer will be present in the USA under a pre-clearance arrangement to inspect and verify all consignments prior to export. The USA is yet to provide a suitable quarantine approach that addresses the risks of SWD. Trade in stone fruit from the US will not start until these measures have been agreed.
The policy will be taken into account by decision makers when considering import permit applications for fresh stone fruit from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington in accordance with the Quarantine Act 1908 and Quarantine Proclamation 1998 as amended.
Australia and the USA will now develop a detailed work plan and work instructions. These will need to be approved by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service before any import permit can be issued.
Dr Colin J Grant