Fact sheet June 2004: Apples from New Zealand IRA

Revised Draft Import Risk Analysis Report for Apples from New Zealand

FACT SHEET – JUNE 2004

BIOSECURITY AUSTRALIA commenced an import risk analysis (IRA) on apples from New Zealand in 1999.

A draft IRA report was issued in October 2000 for public comment. 

An import risk analysis team (expert panel) was appointed in January 2002 to progress the work of the IRA on New Zealand apples. The risk analysis team includes two senior plant biosecurity specialists, fruit-growing experts and technical specialists. A scientific review paper was published in July 2002 that summarised comments made on the earlier draft. A workshop was then held with stakeholders to discuss the review paper and seek technical comment. 

The expert team undertook two years of exhaustive scientific review, taking into account the extensive stakeholder comments and all available scientific evidence relating to fire blight and other diseases of quarantine concern. 

On 19 February this year Biosecurity Australia issued a Revised Draft Import Risk Analysis Report for Apples from New Zealand for comment.

Proposed stringent quarantine measures

The revised draft report proposes that New Zealand apples may enter Australia under stringent quarantine conditions.

The main pests of quarantine concern are Fire blight, European canker, apple leaf-curling midge, four species of leaf rollers and wheat bug. In addition, apple scab and codling moth were identified as quarantine pests of concern for Western Australia. 

Stringent risk management measures set out in the report address these quarantine pests so as to protect the health status of Australia's orchards and plant industries. 

Tough measures for Fire blight

The proposed quarantine measures for Fire blight are tough in order to protect the favourable health status of Australia's agriculture.

The proposed measures would reduce the Fire blight bacterium to unviable levels through the combination of:

  • harvesting fruit from orchards free of Fire blight symptoms
  • chlorine dipping to treat the fruit surface
  • cold storage for at least six weeks 

For insect pests the quarantine measures are: 

  • monitoring in orchards and inspection pre-export or on arrival. 
Information sessions

Biosecurity Australia, in consultation with Apple and Pear Australia Limited, held information sessions on the Revised Draft Import Risk Analysis Report for Apples from New Zealand in major apple growing areas throughout Australia in May this year. 

The purpose of the information sessions was to give stakeholders an understanding of the IRA process and an opportunity to discuss technical issues as they relate to the recommendations in the revised draft report. 

Next steps

Stakeholders had until Wednesday, 23 June 2004, to provide comments to Biosecurity Australia on the revised draft report. 

Submissions received from stakeholders and any new information that may come to hand will be considered thoroughly in the preparation of the final IRA report. 

Under the IRA process, importation of apples will only be allowed if the final IRA report shows that all quarantine risks to our important horticultural industries and the environment can be managed safely. 

The draft IRA report is available on the Biosecur​ity Australia website. 

Media contact: John Wilson, Biosecurity Australia, (02) 6272 3811.
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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