Biosecurity Advice 2018-04 - Announcement of the commencement of the pest risk analysis for Pepino mosaic virus and pospiviroids associated with tomato seed

​​​​22 March 2018

This Biosecurity Advice announces the commencement of the pest risk analysis for Pepino mosaic virus and pospiviroids associated with tomato seed.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) aims to release a draft report for public consultation in April 2018.

Importation of tomato seed and wild tomato seed (Solanum lycopersicum, Solanum chilense, S. chmielewskii, S. parviflorum, S. peruvianum and S. pimpinellifolium) is currently subject to emergency measures to manage the risks presented by several plant pathogens that can be carried by the seeds.

This pest risk analysis was initiated to assess the risks presented by the pathogens, to evaluate the emergency measures, to consider ongoing phytosanitary measures and to ensure any ongoing phytosanitary measures are technically justified.

Between 2001 and 2012, there were several incursions of Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) in tomato and capsicum crops in Australia. In response the department introduced emergency measures on tomato seed imports. The emergency measures were first introduced in 2008 against PSTVd and were amended in 2012 to impose mandatory testing for Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) and six pospiviroid species: Columnea latent viroid (CLVd), Pepper chat fruit viroid (PCFVd), PSTVd, Tomato apical stunt viroid (TASVd), Tomato chlorotic dwarf viroid (TCDVd) and Tomato planta macho viroid (TPMVd).

Published reports indicated that PepMV and pospiviroids were transmitted through tomato seeds and were spreading across many countries. In other countries, these seed-borne pathogens are reported to damage the avocado, capsicum, chilli, potato and tomato industries.

This pest risk analysis focuses on PepMV and the following five pospiviroid species: CLVd, PCFVd, TASVd, TCDVd and TPMVd. PSTVd will not be assessed in this pest risk analysis. The department will evaluate the status and impacts of PSTVd separately.

The department is conducting this pest risk analysis as a review of biosecurity import requirements (a non-regulated risk analysis).

The department aims to release the draft report for public consultation in April 2018. Another Biosecurity Advice will be issued to invite comment at that time. In preparing a final report, the department will consider all stakeholder comments received during the consultation period.

If you have any further queries or require more information please contact the department by emailing Plant Stakeholders​.

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.


Mr Peter Creaser
A/g First Assistant Secretary
Biosecurity Plant Division

Contact: Gabrielle Vivian-Smith
Telephone: +61 2 6272 3220
Email: Plant Stakeholders ​

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

Please verify that you are not a robot.