Biosecurity Advice 2013-09- Release of the final pest risk analysis report for Drosophila suzukii

​24 April 2013

This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders of the release of the Final pest risk analysis report for Drosophila suzukii. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) recommends the application of phytosanitary measures to manage Drosophila suzukii associated with the importation host fruit to Australia, as specified in the Final pest risk analysis report for Drosophila suzukii.

Spotted-wing drosophila, a vinegar fly, (Drosophila suzukii) was confirmed present in the USA in 2009 and has been recorded from a large variety of plant species where the immature stages of the fly occur within host fruit. Unlike other drosophila species, this pest has been found to cause damage to commercial fruit before harvest, and may be on the pathway for traded host fruit. Since 2009, Drosophila suzukii had been confirmed to cause damage to fruit of caneberries (e.g. raspberries), cherries, stone fruit, strawberries, grapes and blueberries in North America, Asia and Europe.

In response to the new threat of Drosophila suzukii in host fruit imported from the USA, Australia announced emergency measures on 7 April 2010 to manage the risk of this pest entering and establishing in Australia. DAFF issued a draft pest risk analysis (PRA) report on 21 October 2010 for comment.

Eight submissions were received on the draft report and the final report was amended to include all scientifically valid comments. In addition the final report includes the latest available information relevant to the risk associated with Drosophila suzukii in host material.

The final PRA report identified a range of fresh fruits as potential pathways for the introduction of Drosophila suzukii into Australia that have an unrestricted risk that exceeds Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP); therefore, risk management measures are required. DAFF considers that the risk management measures proposed in this final PRA report, supported by efficacy data, will achieve Australia’s ALOP against Drosophila suzukii. Specifically, the proposed risk management measures are:

  • area freedom from Drosophila suzukii; or
  • a systems approach that may use pre- and post-harvest measures to manage fruit potentially infested with Drosophila suzukii; or 
  • the application of a treatment to fruit known to be effective against Drosophila suzukii. 
    • Current approved treatments include methyl bromide fumigation for strawberry and cherry; or
    • sulfur dioxide/carbon dioxide fumigation followed by a six-day cold treatment for table grapes.
  • In addition, this report recommends methyl bromide fumigation for stone fruit (peach and nectarine only).

The final PRA report, which recommends ongoing measures, meets Australia’s international obligations under the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

Printed copies are available, if required.

Next Steps

The release of this final report is an administrative step and is not the final step in the import process.

Cherries, table grapes and strawberries from the USA were previously imported to Australia, and the detection of spotted-wing drosophila in these commodities in the USA caused disruption to the existing trade. Quarantine measures that have been identified by the USA and supported by efficacy data have been assessed and approved for use by DAFF.

Stone fruit (peaches and nectarines) from the USA will be a new import pathway for Australia and a range of operational processes will need to be established before trade can commence. Australia is familiar with a very similar pathway; imports of fumigated cherries from the USA have occurred for many years. Apricots and plums will not be able to trade until an appropriate treatment has been identified by the USA and assessed by DAFF.

DAFF may visit the USA to audit the implementation of the agreed import conditions for peaches and nectarines, including operational procedures in packing houses and methyl bromide fumigation treatment application.

No import permit will be issued until DAFF is satisfied that the USA is able to comply with the import conditions that have been determined. The issuance of an import permit is a regulatory process that is subject to judicial review.

Dr Vanessa Findlay
First Assistant Secretary

Contact: David Heinrich
Tel:  +61 2 6272 3933
Fax:  +61 2 6272 3307
Email: Plant Biosecurity

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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