Biosecurity Advice 2018-30 - Release of the draft report for the Pest Risk Analysis for Cut Flower and Foliage Imports—Part 1

14 November 2018

This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders of the release of the draft reportfor the Draft Pest Risk Analysis for Cut Flower and Foliage Imports—Part 1.

The draft report supports measures implemented on 1 March 2018 that manage the biosecurity risks associated with imports of cut flowers and foliage offshore.

The draft report is being issued for a public consultation period. Stakeholders are invited to submit written comments by 31 January 2019.

This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders that the department has completed a draft report for the Draft pest risk analysis for cut flower and foliage imports—Part 1.

The department announced the commencement of the risk analysis on 11 July 2018 (via Biosecurity Advice 2018/12).

In 2017, the department conducted an Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper-funded review of the import conditions for fresh cut flowers and foliage. This identified a high number of arthropod interceptions being found on consignments of imported cut flowers and foliage. Also in 2017, the department finalised the Group pest risk analysis for thrips and orthotospoviruses on fresh fruit, vegetable, cut-flower and foliage imports (Group Thrips PRA). The Group Thrips PRA considered the biosecurity risk posed by all thrips across numerous import pathways, including cut flowers and foliage, and the biosecurity risk posed by the virus genus Orthotospovirus, members of which are transmitted by certain thrips species. As a consequence of the review and the Group Thrips PRA, the department revised the import conditions for fresh cut flowers and foliage to reduce the risk of quarantine pests arriving in Australia. The revised conditions came into effect on 1 March 2018.

This pest risk analysis (PRA) of fresh cut flower and foliage imports was initiated to assess the biosecurity risk posed by key arthropod pest groups to Australia, and to determine whether the introduction of the revised import conditions manages the biosecurity risk to achieve the appropriate level of protection (ALOP) for Australia.

This PRA is being conducted in two parts, to enable earlier analysis of the revised import conditions, which have been put in place to manage the biosecurity risks to achieve Australia’s ALOP. The two parts are: (i) an assessment of the three major arthropod pest groups—mites, aphids and thrips; and (ii) an assessment of other arthropod pests associated with fresh cut flowers and foliage.

Part 1 of this PRA assessed all species of mites, aphids and thrips that have been recorded on the imported commercial fresh cut flower and foliage pathway. A total of 241 species were identified from sources including departmental interception data, information provided by a number of exporting country National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPOs), risk analyses conducted by the department and other NPPOs, and an extensive literature review.

From the 241 species assessed, 35 mites, 15 aphids and 82 thrips are identified as quarantine pests and/or regulated articles for Australia. A further 35 aphids were identified as potential regulated articles. Australia’s ALOP requires an unrestricted risk estimate of very low. Where the risk is assessed as being higher than this, specific risk management measures are required to ensure risk achieves ALOP.

The unrestricted risk estimate for the mite species is ‘Low’ to ‘Moderate’, which does not achieve the ALOP for Australia. The unrestricted risk estimate for the aphid species is ‘Low’ to ‘Moderate’, which also does not achieve the ALOP for Australia. The unrestricted risk estimate for the thrips species is ‘Low’, which also does not achieve the ALOP for Australia.

As a result of these findings, specific risk management measures are required for these arthropods on fresh cut flowers and foliage arriving in Australia to mitigate the associated risks. The analysis has determined that the offshore pest management measures in the revised import conditions that were introduced in March 2018 reduce the unrestricted risks for quarantine mites, thrips and aphids to achieve Australia’s ALOP. These measures include:

  • an NPPO‑approved systems approach. A systems approach requires a number of risk management measures to be applied at different points in the supply chain, which cumulatively achieve the required ALOP, or
  • pre-shipment methyl bromide fumigation, or
  • an NPPO‑approved alternative pre-shipment disinfestation treatment.

Assurance that every consignment meets Australia’s import requirements must be provided by the NPPO of the exporting country, which must verify, by inspection, that fresh cut flowers for export to Australia are free from pests and diseases and declare this on a Phytosanitary Certificate.

The offshore measures, when applied, should reduce the biosecurity risks to achieve the ALOP for Australia. The department will continue to use verification processes and documentation checks, such as phytosanitary inspection on arrival, to confirm that Australia’s import conditions have been met and that Australia’s ALOP has been achieved.

Stakeholders are invited to have their say on the draft report. The closing date to submit comments is 31 January 2019. The department will consider all stakeholder comments received during the public consultation period in preparing a final report.

The draft report and information about the pest risk analysis process are available online. Printed copies of the report are available on 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

Telephone: 1800 900 090 (option 1, option 1)
Email: Imports

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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