Questions and Answers
The risk analysis process
Why is this non-regulated analysis of existing policy being undertaken?
The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) helps people and goods move in and out of Australia while keeping Australia safe and protecting our industries and environment from pests and diseases that exist in many other parts of the world.
As part of this role, the department is responding to market access requests from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam for fresh mango fruit.
A non-regulated analysis of existing policy (a review) is a process that identifies and assesses any unwanted pests that might be imported on mango fruit from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam and are not present in Australia.
If the risks associated with a proposed import exceed Australia’s appropriate level of protection, the review specifies what measures should be taken to reduce those risks to an acceptable level.
How is a non-regulated analysis different from an import risk analysis under the regulated process?
A non-regulated risk analysis is undertaken when the potential quarantine pests of concern are the same as, or similar to, quarantine pests for commodities from other countries for which import policy exists.
Import policy already exists for fresh mango fruit from Haiti, India, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Taiwan. There are also import policies for a number of horticultural commodities from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam including mangosteen, salacca, longan, and lychee.
A preliminary assessment of mango fruit from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam indicated that the potential quarantine pests belong to the same pest groups previously assessed in other risk analyses; and there are established phytosanitary risk management measures for these pests.
Given the similarity of pests of concern and that there are established risk mitigation measures for these pests, the department determined that the market access requests for mangoes from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam would be conducted as a non-regulated analysis of existing policy, rather than a regulated import risk analysis.
This approach is consistent with the Import Risk Analysis Handbook 2011.
Unlike a regulated analysis, there is no specific timeframe required to complete a non-regulated analysis of existing policy. However, a review is conducted to the same scientific standard as an import risk analysis.
What quarantine pests have been identified?
The report identifies 18 pests of quarantine concern that require phytosanitary measures. All 18 pests are arthropods.
The 18 arthropods are: mango pulp weevil (Sternochetus gravis), mango seed weevil (Sternochetus mangiferae), mango seed boring weevil (Sternochetus olivieri), carambola fruit fly (Bactrocera carambolae), guava fruit fly (Bactrocera correcta), Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis), peach fruit fly (Bactrocera zonata), annona mealybug (Dysmicoccus neobrevipes), papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus), coffee mealybug (Planococcus lilacinus), Pacific mealybug (Planococcus minor), citriculus mealybug (Pseudococcus cryptus), Jack Beardsley mealybug (Pseudococcus jackbeardsleyi), downy snowline mealybug (Rastrococcus invadens), mango mealybug (Rastrococcus invadens), Oriental mealybug (Rastrococcus rubellus), Philippine mango mealybug (Rastrococcus spinosus), and red banded mango caterpillar (Deanolis sublimbalis).
What quarantine measures have been recommended for fresh mango fruit from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam?
The final report recommends a range of risk management measures, combined with a system of operational procedures to ensure quarantine standards are met. These measures will reduce the risk posed by the quarantine pests and achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection. The risk management measures may include a combination of the following:
- irradiation for mango weevils, fruit flies, mealybugs and red-banded mango caterpillar
- vapour heat treatment for fruit flies
- hot water dipping treatment for fruit flies
- visual inspection and remedial action for mealybugs
- systems approach and visual inspection and remedial action for red-banded mango caterpillar
- area freedom (including pest free areas, pest free places of production and pest free production sites) for mango weevils and red-banded mango caterpillar.
Are there any regional differences for Australian states?
A regional difference was identified for two pests. A mango weevil species and a mealy bug species were identified as quarantine pests for Western Australia.
The recommended quarantine measures take account of this regional difference.
Will Australia be adequately protected from exotic pests?
A comprehensive review has been undertaken and has assessed any pests of quarantine concern potentially associated with fresh mango fruit from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. The review concludes that a range of risk management measures, combined with a system of operational procedures, ensures quarantine standards are met and provide an appropriate level of protection. Australia has established measures to manage these pests.
The review is based on the latest available scientific information and reflects Australia’s stringent approach to managing biosecurity risks.
Can Australia have zero risk?
Science-based risk analysis provides an important foundation for safe trade. Australia accepts imports only when we are confident that the risks of pests and diseases that could be associated with specific imports can be managed in accordance with Australia’s appropriate level of protection, which requires quarantine risks to be reduced to at least a very low level.
Australia exports about two-thirds of its agricultural produce. The future of our agricultural and food industries, including their capacity to contribute to growth and jobs, depends on Australia’s capacity to maintain a good plant and animal health status. Our future also depends on the conditions our industries face overseas.
It is important to Australia that fair and consistent trading rules are in place around the world as provided by the World Trade Organization. We cannot expect trading partners to take our produce if we are not prepared to apply the same rules to their products. Nor could we be optimistic about new markets opening up.
A ‘zero risk’ stance is impractical as it would mean no tourists, no international travel and no imports of any commodities. Nevertheless, Australia invests heavily in biosecurity to ensure that risks are managed to at least a very low level.
How did the department consult stakeholders?
The department consulted with stakeholders before starting this analysis, and throughout the process. Stakeholders were given the opportunity to raise any concerns and were kept aware of the progress.
The department released the Draft report for the non-regulated analysis of existing policy for fresh mango fruit from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam for a 30-day stakeholder consultation period on 28 July 2015.
Seven submissions were received and were considered in the preparation of the final report.
Meeting Australia's food standards
Does imported produce 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, including Standard 1.4.2, maximum residue limits. The standards apply to all food in Australia, irrespective of whether it is grown domestically or imported.
Mango imports and exports
Does Australia currently allow any imports of fresh mango fruit?
Yes. Australia allows the importation of fresh mangoes for human consumption from Haiti, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, and Taiwan provided they meet Australia’s quarantine requirements.
Trade currently occurs from the Philippines and Mexico, with fewer imports received from Taiwan, India and Pakistan. At present no trade has occurred from Haiti.
Does Australia export fresh mango fruit?
Yes. Australia currently produces around 50 000 tonnes of mango fruit annually and exports between 4000 and 5000 tonnes.
Australia exports mangoes to a number of countries. Key export markets for Australian mangoes include Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, China and Korea.
Australia has also recently established access to the United States, which represents a great export opportunity for Australian mangoes.
Does Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam export fresh mango fruit?
Yes. Indonesia exports mangoes to Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Europe and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Thailand exports mangoes to Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan, Korea and Europe.
Vietnam exports mangoes to China, Korea, Europe, New Zealand and Japan.
What time of year does Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam export fresh mango fruit?
Mangoes are most likely to be exported during the peak production periods for each country. The peak production period for commercially grown mangoes in Vietnam and Thailand is from March to May. Indonesia’s peak production period is in November.