Plant Biosecurity Advice 2019-P09 - Release of the final report of the pest risk analysis for cut flowers and foliage imports – Part 1

21 June 2019

This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders of the release of the Final pest risk analysis for cut flower and foliage imports – Part 1.

The final report recommends phytosanitary measures to manage the biosecurity risks posed by thrips, mites and aphids associated with cut flower and foliage imports, to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia.

The final report takes into account comments received from stakeholders on the draft report released on 14 November 2018.

The department announced the commencement of the pest risk analysis on 11 July 2018, via Biosecurity Advice 2018/12 and released the draft report (for Part 1) for public consultation on 14 November 2018 (Biosecurity Advice 2018/30). Comments from stakeholders on the draft report were taken into consideration in preparing the final report.

The pest risk analysis was initiated by the department to assess the pests of biosecurity concern to Australia associated with imported cut flowers and foliage, and to determine whether the introduction of revised import conditions (on 1 March 2018) manages the biosecurity risks to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia.

The pest risk analysis is being conducted in two parts, Part 1 assesses the three major arthropod pest groups – thrips, mites and aphids; and Part 2 assesses all other arthropod pests associated with fresh cut flowers and foliage.

The key findings from Part 1 of the pest risk analysis are:

  • Of all commodity types, a high proportion of arthropod interceptions (23 per cent) occurred on imported cut flowers and foliage.
  • Imports of consignments of cut flowers and foliage arriving in Australia have increased more than threefold, from 2,271 consignments in 2007 to 8,907 consignments in 2018.
  • Detections of live arthropods at the Australian border, known as ‘interceptions’, have also been of concern, with 58 per cent of total consignments having live arthropods detected in 2017 and 50 per cent of total consignments having live pests of biosecurity concern detected between 1 March 2018 and 28 February 2019.
  • Thrips, mites and aphids have been detected on the majority of cut flower and foliage types exported to Australia.
  • Of the 259 species of thrips, mites and aphids assessed, 152 species (84 thrips, 47 mites, 21 aphids) were identified as being a quarantine pest and / or a regulated article because they can vector viruses that are a quarantine pest for Australia (e.g., orthotospoviruses).
  • A further 32 aphid species were identified as potential regulated articles because they can also vector viruses that are a quarantine pest for Australia (e.g., Plum pox virus). These aphid species will also be regulated at the Australian border.
  • Phytosanitary measures are required to manage the biosecurity risks posed by the 184 identified pest species, to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia.
  • The recommended phytosanitary measures are suitable to manage the biosecurity risks posed by thrips, mites and aphids, to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia. Import permits may be required in certain circumstances.

The final report, stakeholder comments and the department’s responses are available from the department’s website. Printed copies of the report are available on request.

The department invites stakeholders interested in receiving information and updates on biosecurity risk analyses to subscribe via the department’s 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 pest 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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