Cut flowers and foliage

Fresh cut flowers and foliage have been imported into Australia on a commercial basis for about 45 years. With this trade comes the potential to introduce unwanted pests and diseases into Australia.

In 2017, we conducted a review of import conditions for fresh cut flowers and foliage following an analysis of inspection records. The inspection records showed high rates of pest detections on large numbers of consignments of imported fresh cut flowers and foliage at the Australian border. In addition, some countries that export fresh cut flowers and foliage to Australia were found to have failed the inspections with failure rates in excess of 50 per cent.

As a result of the 2017 review, import conditions for fresh cut flowers and foliage were amended and came into effect as of 1 March 2018.

We initiated this pest risk analysis to assess the pests of biosecurity concern to Australia associated with imported cut flowers and foliage, and to determine whether the amended import conditions manage the biosecurity risks to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia.

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Pest Risk Analysis for Cut Flower and Foliage Imports – Part 1

We have completed Part 1 of the pest risk analysis for cut flower and foliage imports.

About the pest risk analysis

We initiated this pest risk analysis to assess the biosecurity risks posed by pests associated with cut flowers and foliage imports to Australia, and determine whether the introduction of revised import conditions manages the biosecurity risks to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia.

Part 1 of the pest risk analysis assesses the three main pest groups being intercepted at the Australian border on imported cut flowers and foliage – thrips, mites and aphids.

Final report

Summary of the final report

We recommend 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 recommended phytosanitary measures are suitable to manage the biosecurity risks, to achieve the appropriate level of protection. Import permits may be required in certain circumstances.

Pests

Of the 259 species of thrips, mites and aphids assessed, 152 species (84 thrips species, 47 mite species and 21 aphid species) 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.

Risk management measures

We recommend a range of measures to reduce the risk of these pests arriving in Australia via the cut flower and foliage pathway.

  • Before cut flowers and foliage are exported to Australia, the exporting country must use one of three arthropod pest management options:
    1. NPPO-approved systems approach, or
    2. Pre-export methyl bromide fumigation, or
    3. NPPO-approved alternative pre-export disinfestation treatment
  • In addition, the exporting country must ensure consignment freedom from live quarantine arthropod pests verified by NPPO pre-export visual inspection and remedial action if live pests are found, prior to export.
  • Import permits may be required in certain circumstances, for example, when a country continues to export consignments with high levels of live pests, import permits will be required to allow us to have greater oversight and assurance that the cut flowers and foliage arriving in Australia is compliant.
  • When consignments arrive in Australia, they will be:
  1. Visually inspected to verify that the biosecurity status of consignments of cut flowers and foliage meet Australia’s import conditions.
  2. Released if arthropod pests are non-quarantine or unregulated, subject to freedom from other contaminants and pathogens.
  3. Treated if arthropods are identified as quarantine or regulated, or if the consignment does not meet Australia’s import conditions.
Your feedback on the draft report

A summary of key technical comments raised by stakeholders and how they were considered can be found in Appendix H of the final report. Stakeholder comments on the draft report, and our response to non-technical comments raised by stakeholders can be found in the tables below.

Download submissions on the draft report

Available until June 2020

DocumentPagesFile size
AUSVEG PDF599 KB
Cotton Australia PDF 2819 KB
Dr Kevin Clayton-Greene PDF 179 KB
Flowers Australia PDF 1188 KB
Government of Western Australia, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development PDF 1506 KB
Grain Producers Australia PDF51,211 KB
Growcom PDF2162 KB
National Farmers’ Federation PDF3324 KB
NSW Farmers PDF2286 KB
NSW Government, Department of Primary Industries PDF270 KB
Nursery and Garden Industry Australia PDF4138 KB
Queensland Government, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries PDF2147 KB
Victorian Farmers Federation PDF91,183 KB
WAFEX PDF5121 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 the supplementary response to submissions on the draft report

Available until June 2020

DocumentPagesFile size
Department of Agriculture, response to stakeholder comments PDF 9224 KB
Department of Agriculture, response to stakeholder comments DOCX 9112 KB

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

Download final report

Department of Agriculture, June 2019

DocumentPagesFile size
Final pest risk analysis for cut flower and foliage imports – Part 1 PDF2443.1 MB
Final pest risk analysis for cut flower and foliage imports – Part 1 DOCX2441.9 MB

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

Draft report

We released the draft report on 14 November 2018 for an extended public consultation period, closing on 15 March 2019.

Download draft report

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, November 2018

Available until June 2020

DocumentPagesFile size
Draft pest risk analysis for cut flower and foliage imports – Part 1 PDF2153.7 MB
Draft pest risk analysis for cut flower and foliage imports – Part 1 DOCX2152.2 MB

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

Announcement

We announced the commencement of Part 1 of the pest risk analysis on 11 July 2018 (Biosecurity Advice 2018-12).

Pest Risk Analysis for Cut Flower and Foliage Imports – Part 2

We have commenced Part 2 of the pest risk analysis for cut flower and foliage imports.

About the pest risk analysis

We initiated this pest risk analysis to assess the biosecurity risks posed by pests associated with cut flowers and foliage imports to Australia, and determine whether the introduction of revised import conditions manages the biosecurity risks to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia.

Part 2 of the pest risk analysis assesses all other arthropod pests (that are not thrips, mites and aphids) being intercepted at the Australian border on imported cut flowers and foliage – such as leaf miner flies, caterpillars and true plant bugs, including stink bugs.

Announcement

We announced the commencement of Part 2 of the pest risk analysis on 18 April 2018 (Biosecurity Advice 2019-P05).

We expect to release the draft report for Part 2 of the pest risk analysis, for public consultation, in the second half of 2019.

Trade

Fresh cut flowers and foliage have been imported into Australia on a commercial basis for around 45 years. In 2017-18, Australia imported $70.3 million worth of fresh cut flowers, an increase from $63.5 million in 2016-17.

Cut flower and foliage industry in Australia

In 2017-2018:

  • Australia’s total value of fresh cut flower production was worth $280.6 million, of which a total value of $10.4 million was exported.
  • Australia’s main export markets for fresh cut flowers were Japan, with a value of $3.6 million, and the Netherlands with a value of $2.8 million.
  • Australia imported fresh cut flowers worth $70.3 million.
  • The main countries which exported fresh cut flowers to Australia were Kenya ($17.4 million), Malaysia ($15.3 million), Ecuador ($9.7 million), Colombia ($9.2 million), and China ($4.1 million).

Source:  https://www.horticulture.com.au/globalassets/hort-innovation/resource-assets/ah15001-australian-horticulture-statistics-handbook-other.pdf

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: 4 November 2019
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