Apiaceous vegetable seeds

We have completed a review of import conditions for apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing.

When we do a risk analysis, we:

  • review the science on pests and diseases of concern
  • assess and analyse biosecurity risks
  • develop risk management measures, if required
  • consult the public on the draft report and then review comments
  • publish the final report
  • publish import conditions in our Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).

About the review

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.

The increased biosecurity risk associated with imported seed prompted us to review the import conditions for vegetable seeds for sowing.

We initiated a review of four vegetable seed import policies, which was funded under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. The four vegetable families being reviewed are: Apiaceae (e.g. carrot, celery and parsley), Brassicaceae (e.g. broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower), Cucurbitaceae (e.g. cucumber, watermelon and zucchini) and Solanaceae (e.g. capsicum, eggplant and tomato).

The review of apiaceous vegetable seeds is the third of the four vegetable families to be finalised. The reviews of brassicaceous and cucurbitaceous vegetable seeds were finalised in September 2019 and June 2020, respectively.

Final report

Summary of the final report

Seeds of six apiaceous vegetable species are hosts of pathogens that are of biosecurity concern for Australia. 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 potentially 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’.

Below is a summary of the pathogens and the options for risk management measures for each of the six apiaceous host species:

Host species (including its hybrids) Pathogens associated with host species Risk management measures
Option 1 (PCR test) Option 2
(Fungicide treatment)
Option 3
(Heat treatment)
Anthriscus cerefolium (chervil) Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’  
Apium graveolens (celery) Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’  
Daucus carota (carrot) Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’  
Diaporthe angelicae *  
Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’  
Cercospora foeniculi *  
Pastinaca sativa (parsnip) Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’  
Strawberry latent ringspot virus (SLRSV) *    
Petroselinum crispum (parsley) Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’  
Strawberry latent ringspot virus (SLRSV) *    

* Not yet operationally available; tests will be phased in at a later date, to be advised.

Seeds of these six apiaceous vegetable species that are imported for sprouting or micro-greens production for human consumption are exempt from these additional measures if they are imported directly to a production facility operated under an Approved Arrangement. This is to mitigate risks presented by the diversion of seeds to other end-uses.

If the required treatment or testing is undertaken off-shore, phytosanitary certification is required with the additional declaration that the testing or treatment has been conducted in accordance with Australia’s requirements.

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.

Your feedback on the draft report

Appendix B of the final report provides a summary of key technical comments raised by stakeholders and how they were considered.

Appendix C of the final report provides details of how we considered the potential alternative management options.

Changes were made to the risk analysis following comments submitted by stakeholders and a review of scientific literature. Key changes are:

  • Seven quarantine pests identified in the draft report as potentially requiring measures have been reassessed as not requiring measures because:
    • three of the pests are no longer considered to be seed-borne in apiaceous hosts (Calophoma complanata, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. coriandrii and Ramularia foeniculi) as any evidence was found to be insufficient
    • three of the pests are no longer considered to pose risks that exceed the appropriate level of protection (ALOP) for Australia (F. oxysporum f. sp. cumini, Passalora malkoffii and Phomopsis diachenii)
    • one of the pests has been taxonomically reclassified (R. coriandri) and the new definition of this species indicates it is present in Australia and not under official control.
  • Diaporthe angelicae is included as a newly recognised quarantine pest associated with this pathway.

Download submissions on the draft report

Available until March 2022.

Document Pages File size
Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries PDF 4 559 KB
WA Government Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development PDF 34 1.4 MB

Published submissions may not meet Australian Government accessibility requirements as they have not been prepared by us. If you have difficulty accessing these files, contact us for help.

Download final report

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, March 2021.

Document Pages File size
Final review of import conditions for apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing PDF 249 4.6 MB
Final review of import conditions for apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing DOCX 249 1.6 MB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for help.

Draft report

We released the draft report of the review of apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing into Australia on 12 September 2017 for a 60 calendar day stakeholder consultation period, closing on 13 November 2017.


Document Pages File size
Draft review of import conditions for apiaceous crop seeds for sowing into Australia PDF 232 1.4 MB
Draft review of import conditions for apiaceous crop seeds for sowing into Australia DOC 232 4.3 MB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.


Apiaceous vegetable industry

Australian producers rely on the overseas supply of seeds for apiaceous vegetable production. In 2019-20, Australia’s production of main apiaceous vegetables (carrot, celery, coriander and parsley) was valued at more than $400 million.

The gross value of production figures for apiaceous vegetables for 2019-20 are:

  • Carrot—$222 million
  • Celery—$74.1 million
  • Coriander—greater than $50 million
  • Parsley—greater than $50 million.

The gross value of Australian horticultural agriculture was $15.1 billion in 2019-20.

The gross value of Australian horticultural exports was just over $2.7 billion in 2019-20.

Source: Horticulture Innovation Australia—Australia Horticulture Statistics Handbook (2019-20)

Next steps

We will implement the revised import conditions in the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) in a phased approach.

Phase 1, which will be implemented on 30 March 2021, will include fungicide treatment for Cercospora foeniculi and Diaporthe angelicae for their associated host seeds, and the continuation of testing or heat treatment for ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ for the associated host seeds.

Implementation of PCR testing for the remaining pathogens will be phased in at a later date. Stakeholders will be informed before these changes are made.

Keep informed

Register as a stakeholder

Subscribe to Biosecurity Risk Analysis Plant to receive notices about plant biosecurity policies.

Contact us

For more information, email imports or phone 1800 900 090 (option 1, option 1).

Last reviewed: 29 March 2021
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.