Avocados from Chile

We have completed a final report for the fresh avocados (Persea americana) from Chile risk analysis. We will now verify that Chile can meet the recommended biosecurity requirements and develop import conditions.

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Steps to complete this risk analysis

When we do a risk analysis, we:

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

About the risk analysis

We initiated this risk analysis because Chile requested market access for fresh avocados from Chile. Learn more about why we carry out risk analyses and our international obligations.

The risk analysis was conducted in accordance with Section 174 of the Biosecurity Act 2015. This is because we conducted an assessment of the potential quarantine pests associated with fresh avocados from Chile, and found that:

  • the pests of concern were the same, or of the same pest groups, as those pests that had been assessed previously for other horticultural goods
  • there are risk management measures already established for these pests or pest groups.

Final report

Summary of the final report

We recommend that the importation of fresh avocados from Chile be permitted provided they meet the biosecurity import conditions. All imports must come from commercial production areas of Chile.

Pests

Seven quarantine pests associated with fresh avocado fruit are present in Chile, and need risk management measures to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. These pests are:

  • fruit fly: Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata)
  • mealybugs: grape mealybug (Pseudococcus maritimus)
  • thrips: Chilean flower thrips (Frankliniella australis), tamarugo thrips (Frankliniella gemina) and western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis)
  • Oligonychus spider mites: avocado brown mite (Oligonychus punicae) and avocado red mite (Oligonychus yothersi).

Western flower thrips has been identified as a regional quarantine pest for the Northern Territory. This thrips species was also assessed as a regulated article for all of Australia, as it is capable of harbouring and spreading emerging orthotospoviruses that are quarantine pests for Australia.

Risk management measures

We recommend a range of measures to reduce the risk of these pests arriving in Australia via the fresh avocado fruit pathway from Chile. These measures are: 

  • for Mediterranean fruit fly: area freedom or fruit treatment (such as cold disinfestation treatment) for all cultivars, or hard condition of fruit for the Hass cultivar only
  • for mealybug, thrips and Oligonychus spider mites: pre-export visual inspection and, if found, remedial action.

Your feedback on the draft report

Based on stakeholder comments, and a review of scientific literature, we have made a number of changes to the risk analysis. These changes include:

  • amendments to ‘Appendix A: Initiation and categorisation for pests of fresh avocado fruit from Chile’ following review of further scientific literature and/or consultation with experts, including to the taxonomic status of some of the species of pathogens (Neofusicoccum ribis, Dothiorella iberica and Calonectria cylindrospora) and one mite (Eotetranychus sexmaculatus).
    • Neofusicoccum ribis has been removed from the pest categorisation on the basis that it only infects Ribes species and is not associated with avocado.
    • Dothiorella iberica has been added to the pest categorisation as it is present in Chile and can be associated with avocado fruit. This species was subsequently assessed as present in Australia and therefore was not assessed further.
    • The pest statuses of Calonectria cylindrospora and Eotetranychus sexmaculatus in Australia have been revised to 'not present', and as a result their potentials to be on the pathway were assessed. Both pests were assessed as not being associated with the avocado fruit export pathway.
  • addition of further information in ‘Section 4.3 Grape mealybug’, following further consideration of the scientific literature on Pseudococcus species in Chile, to acknowledge contradictory evidence and uncertainty about the pest status of Pseudococcus maritimus in Chile.
  • addition of ‘Appendix B: Issues raised in stakeholder comments’ which summarises the key technical issues raised by stakeholders, and how they were considered by the department.
  • minor corrections, rewording, and editorial changes for consistency, clarity, and web-accessibility.

Download submissions on the draft report

Available until December 2020.

Document Pages File size
AUSVEG PDF 1 345 KB
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries PDF 2 482 KB
Avocados Australia Limited PDF 3 200 KB
Chile’s Servicio Agricola y Ganadero PDF 3 569 KB
Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development PDF 9 526 KB

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, December 2019.

Document Pages File size
Final report of the review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh avocado fruit from Chile PDF 165 13.4 MB
Final report of the review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh avocado fruit from Chile DOCX 165 8.3 MB

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

Draft report

We released the draft report on 28 February 2019 for a 60 calendar day public consultation period, closing on 29 April 2019.

Download draft report

Department of Agriculture, February 2019.

Available until December 2020.

Document Pages File size
Draft report for the review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh avocado fruit from Chile PDF 157 5 MB
Draft report for the review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh avocado fruit from Chile DOCX 157 8.8 MB

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

Announcement

More information is available in the Announcement Information Paper.

Trade

Australia-Chile trade

Australia and Chile have a strong two-way trade relationship. Chile is Australia’s third largest trading partner in Latin America. In 2018–19, the total value of agricultural goods Australia exported to Chile was approximately $9.6 million. Over the same period, Chilean goods imported into Australia were worth around $231 million.

Avocado industry in Chile

Chile is one of the largest producers of avocado in the world. Chile’s total avocado production was around 175,000 tonnes in 2015–16 and 215,000 tonnes in 2016–2017. Chile exports avocados to Argentina, China, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Hass is the main cultivar exported and is expected to be the only cultivar exported to Australia.

Avocado industry in Australia

Australian avocados are produced all year round, with production mainly in Queensland (March-November), northern New South Wales (June-October) and Western Australia (July-March). The main varieties produced are Hass (around 80 per cent of production) and Shepard (around 20 per cent of production).

Australia imports avocados from New Zealand, mainly from September to March, which supplements the Australian supply during the spring/summer harvest season. In 2018–19, Australia imported 14,561 tonnes of avocados from New Zealand.

Australia is currently a small producer and exporter in the world avocado market. In 2017–2018, Australia produced around 77,000 tonnes of avocado fruit, with exports accounting for 2.3 per cent of production. Australia’s main avocado export markets are Malaysia and Singapore, accounting for over 80 per cent of avocado exports.

Next steps

Before imports can commence we will:

  1. Verify that Chile can meet the recommended biosecurity requirements.
  2. Publish import conditions on the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).
  3. Issue import permits to importers who meet these conditions.

The decision to commence imports will be a commercial decision between an exporter in Chile and an importer in Australia. The importer must meet the import conditions as set out in BICON.

Keep informed

Register as a stakeholder

Subscribe to the plant stakeholder register 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: 13 December 2019
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