Biosecurity Advice 2018-02 - Release of the draft review of import conditions for brassicaceous crop seeds for sowing into Australia

​​14 February 2018

This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders of the release of the Draft review of import conditions for brassicaceous crop seeds for sowing into Australia.

This draft report identifies pathogens that require phytosanitary measures to manage the risk to a very low level in order to achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection.

This draft report is being issued for a 60 calendar day public consultation period. Stakeholder submissions are invited by 19 April 2018.

This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders of the release of the draft review of import conditions for brassicaceous crop seeds for sowing into Australia.

Australia relies on the overseas supply of seeds for brassicaceous vegetable crop production. In recent years, seed-borne pathogens have increasingly been reported outside their known geographic distribution, partly due to the increasing globalisation of the vegetable seed trade. Seed industry production practices are also changing and seed lots are now produced and multiplied in various countries. As such, this has increased the likelihood of the seeds’ exposure to pathogens and the introduction of pathogens to new areas. This change in risk profile prompted the department to review the import conditions for vegetable seeds for sowing into Australia.

Brassicaceous vegetable crops include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy and similar green leaf vegetables; it also includes canola, mustard seeds, watercress, radish and wasabi, to name a few.

This review is the third in a series of vegetable seed policy reviews funded under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. Other families of vegetable seeds being reviewed are Apiaceae (carrot, celery, parsnip, etc.), Cucurbitaceae (cucumber, melon, pumpkin, etc.) and Solanaceae (capsicum, eggplant, tomato, etc.).

The draft report evaluates the effectiveness of existing risk management measures for identified biosecurity risks, and proposes additional mandatory measures to reduce the risk of introduction of the identified seed-borne (fungal) pathogens – Colletotrichum higginsianum and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. raphani – to Australia.

The proposed additional mandatory measures are in addition to Australia’s standard requirements for the importation of seeds for sowing from all sources, and include:

  • Mandatory fungicidal treatment (off-shore or on-shore) for seeds of Brassica oleracea (such as cabbage, cauliflower), Brassica rapa (such as bok choy, turnip), Eruca vesicaria (such as rocket) and Raphanus sativus (such as radish) as specified in this review, and
  • Seed lots treated off-shore to be accompanied by an official government Phytosanitary Certificate endorsed with the additional declaration that the consignment has undergone mandatory treatment in accordance with Australian import conditions.

Not all brassicaceous crop species reviewed were found to be affected by the identified pathogen pests. The department proposes that the seeds of species not affected by these pests can continue to be imported under Australia’s standard requirements for the importation of seeds for sowing and will not require the additional mandatory treatment.

Information about the vegetable seeds policy reviews is available online. Printed copies of the review are available upon request. 

Stakeholders interested in receiving information and updates on biosecurity risk analyses are invited to subscribe via the department’s new online subscription service. By subscribing to Biosecurity Risk Analysis Plant, you will receive Biosecurity Advices and other notifications relating to plant biosecurity policy, including this risk analysis.

 

Dr Marion Healy
First Assistant Secretary
Biosecurity Plant Division

Contact: Peter Creaser
Telephone: +61 2 6272 5094

Email: Plant Stakeholders

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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