Biosecurity Advice 2021-P04 – Release of the final review of import conditions for apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing

29 March 2021

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This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders of the release of the Final review of import conditions for apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing.

This final report identifies four pathogens as quarantine pests that require additional biosecurity measures to manage the risks to a very low level to achieve the appropriate level of protection (ALOP) for Australia.

This final report takes into account comments received from stakeholders on the draft report released on 12 September 2017.

Australia imports large quantities of seeds annually and depends on these imports to produce a wide range of crops, including vegetable crops.

The distributions of seed-borne pathogens are expanding globally, and new risks frequently emerge. The vegetable seeds trade has become globalised and is evolving—seed lines are usually developed, commercially multiplied, and processed across several countries rather than at a single origin. Therefore, the risks of seeds’ exposure to new pathogens and the likelihood that these pathogens may enter Australia via imported seeds have increased.

Acknowledging the change in risk profile associated with this trade, the department is undertaking a series of seed reviews of the import conditions for four key vegetable families.  Apiaceae is one of the plant families being reviewed, which includes carrot, celery, chervil, fennel, parsley and parsnip.

The department released the draft report of the review of import conditions for apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing on 12 September 2017 for public consultation (Biosecurity Advice 2017-21). Comments raised by stakeholders on the draft report were taken into consideration in the preparation of the final report.

The key findings from the review of apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing are:

  • Four pathogens were identified as quarantine pests—'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’, Cercospora foeniculi, Diaporthe angelicae and Strawberry latent ringspot virus.
  • Additional biosecurity measures are required to manage the risks posed by these pathogens and a combination of pest risk management measures is recommended that includes a test or a treatment for each identified pest:
    • Option 1. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test—a measure that is applicable to all four identified quarantine pests.
    • Option 2. Broad spectrum fungicidal treatment—a measure that is applicable to Cercospora foeniculi and Diaporthe angelicae.
    • Option 3. Heat treatment—a measure that is applicable to ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’.
  • Additional biosecurity measures will therefore be required for imported seeds of six apiaceous species and any hybrid of these species: carrot(Daucus carota), celery(Apium graveolens), chervil(Anthriscus cerefolium), fennel(Foeniculum vulgare), parsley(Petroselinum crispum) and parsnip(Pastinaca sativa).
  • If the required treatment or testing is undertaken off-shore, phytosanitary certification will be required with an additional declaration that the testing or treatment has been conducted in accordance with Australia’s requirements.
  • Imports of seeds of the six apiaceous species for sprouting or micro-greens production for human consumption are exempt from the additional measures, if imported directly to a production facility operating under an Approved Arrangement. This requirement is to mitigate the risk of the diversion of seeds to other end-uses.
  • Seeds of other apiaceous vegetable species reviewed were not found to be hosts of quarantine pests for Australia and they will continue to be subject only to the department’s standard seeds for sowing import conditions.

The final report, stakeholder comments and the department’s responses are available from the department’s website.

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 Advice notices and other notifications relating to plant biosecurity policy, including the vegetable seed reviews.

Dr Chris Parker
First Assistant Secretary
Biosecurity Plant Division

Telephone: 1800 900 090 (option 1, option 1)
Email: imports@agriculture.gov.au

Last reviewed: 29 March 2021
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