Questions and Answers
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Draft non-regulated analysis of existing policy for Californian tables grapes to Western Australia
9 April 2013
A non-regulated analysis of existing policy
Why has this analysis of existing import conditions for fresh table grapes for human consumption from California into Western Australia been conducted?
The United States requested an extension of market access for Californian table grapes into Western Australia in 2005.
The 2002 policy determination for table grapes from California stated that a joint risk assessment by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) and the Western Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA), would be conducted to develop import conditions to permit the importation of Californian table grapes into Western Australia.
What new quarantine pests have been identified?
The harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis), was identified as a pest of quarantine concern for Western Australia.
All pests and pathogens that require biosecurity measures in the current Californian table grape policy will be included in the policy for Western Australia.
What biosecurity measures have been proposed for fresh table grapes from California into Western Australia?
The draft report proposes to apply all biosecurity measures currently applied to imports of Californian table grapes to the rest of Australia to consignments bound for Western Australia. The current import conditions include a combination of quarantine measures and operational systems that reduce the risk associated with the importation of fresh table grapes from California to achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP).
- Fumigation treatment with sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) for the management of grapevine phylloxera as well as spiders.
- Fumigation treatment with SO2/CO2 directly followed by cold disinfestation treatment for the management of spotted wing drosophila.
- Visual inspection and remedial action (if there is a detection) for the management of grape erineum mite, hornbeam spider mite, williamette mite, pacific mite, consperse stink bug, glassy-winged sharpshooter, vine mealybug, grape mealybug, navel orangeworm, orange tortrix, grape leaffolder, salt marsh moth, western grapevine skeletoniser, omnivorous leafroller, bean thrips, grape thrips, western flower thrips, Frankliniella minuta and californian citrus thrips. Remedial action for detections on arrival in Australia may include treatment, re-export or destruction of the consignment.
- Area freedom or non-host status for grape curculio, grape looper, grape root worm, grape berry moth, McDaniel spider mite, avocado thrips, European grapevine moth, black rot, angular leaf spot, rust, angular leaf scorch and Mediterranean fruit fly.
- Inspection by USDA-APHIS and DAFF as well as verification of treatments and certification of phytosanitary status.
DAFF proposes to manage the risk of harlequin ladybird through visual inspection and remedial action (if there is a detection).
Does the report identify Phomopsis viticola and grapevine fanleaf virus as pathogens of potential quarantine concern for Western Australia?
Yes. However, DAFF conducted a pest risk assessment and estimated the unrestricted risks associated with Phomopsis viticola and grapevine fanleaf virus to be ‘negligible’ and ‘very low’, respectively. These risk ratings achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP) and no specific biosecurity measures are required.
Does this give the go-ahead for the importation of fresh table grapes from California into Western Australia?
No. The draft report has been issued for public consultation; the policy has not been finalised.
DAFF’s role is to determine what biosecurity measures must be in place for trade to occur safely. The decision about whether trade actually occurs would be a commercial one.
What are the next steps in the policy review?
Stakeholders are invited to provide written comments on the draft report by 9 May 2013. DAFF will consider all submissions carefully in finalising the policy, which will identify the required biosecurity measures that must be in place for trade to occur safely.
Does Australia allow any imports of fresh table grapes from California now?
Yes. Californian table grapes have been permitted into all other Australian states and territories since 2002.
Have table grapes previously been imported into Western Australia from California?
No. Fresh table grapes for human consumption have not previously been permitted entry from California into Western Australia. Western Australian state regulations currently prohibit the importation of grape fruit, seeds and plants from anywhere that the following pests occur: phomopsis cane and leaf spot (caused by Phomopsis viticola), grapevine phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae) and grapevine fanleaf virus. This includes table grapes from California and other states and territories of Australia.
Why is the risk assessment being done as a non-regulated analysis instead of an import risk analysis under the regulated process?
Fresh table grapes from California have been imported into all other Australian states and territories since 2002. As there is existing import policy for table grapes from California, it has been determined that the US’ market access request for table grapes from California into Western Australia should be conducted as a non-regulated analysis of existing policy. Although issues specific to Western Australia are considered, the importation of fresh table grapes from California into Western Australia does not pose significantly different biosecurity risks, or require significantly different management measures, than those that apply to Californian table grapes imported into the rest of Australia.
In view of this, DAFF determined that the US’ market access request be conducted as a non-regulated analysis of existing policy, rather than a regulated import risk analysis (IRA).
What information was assessed in the non-regulated analysis?
The analysis considered pests and pathogens of concern to Western Australia and took into account risk assessments and reviews completed since January 2000 for Californian table grapes into all other Australian states and territories. The analysis also took into account recent literature and data from the quarantine inspections of Californian table grapes since imports first occurred.
What work has been conducted by DAFF as part of this review process?
DAFF has conducted an assessment of the pests and pathogens associated with the importation of table grapes from California into Western Australia. The Department also considered existing quarantine conditions for the importation of table grapes from California into the other Australian states and territories.
These investigations have assisted with the assessment of the risks posed with the import of table grapes from California into Western Australia and with the development of appropriate biosecurity measures.
Have stakeholders been consulted during the review process?
DAFF consulted the Western Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) both prior to commencement and during the drafting of the non-regulated analysis to allow DAFWA the opportunity to raise any concerns and maintain awareness of the progress and outcomes of the analysis. DAFWA were given advanced drafts of the pest categorisation table and the pest risk assessment to review and provide comment on. The comments they provided during that consultation process in 2012 have been incorporated into the draft report.
Does imported food need to comply with Australia’s food standards?
Imported food for human consumption must satisfy Australia’s food standards. Australian law requires that all food, including imported food, meets the standards set out in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is responsible for developing and maintaining the Code. The standards apply to all food in Australia, irrespective of whether it is grown domestically or imported.