Biosecurity factsheet: Jujubes from China

​Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, March 2019

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Key facts

  • We released the draft risk analysis report for fresh Chinese jujube fruit from China on 18 March 2019.
  • The draft report proposes that importation of fresh Chinese jujube fruit to Australia from all commercial production areas of China be permitted, subject to a range of biosecurity requirements.
  • Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft report during the consultation period, which will close on 17 May 2019.
  • The final report will be published after consideration of comments on the draft report. We expect to publish the report in the second half of 2019.

Risk analysis for Chinese jujubes from China

We are conducting this risk analysis in response to a formal market access request for fresh Chinese jujube fruit to Australia from China. Chinese jujube fruit is China’s highest horticultural priority for new market access.

Australia (as a World Trade Organization (WTO) member) must meet its international obligations by assessing market access requests (import proposals) and developing the least trade restrictive and scientifically justified import conditions where required. Our trading partners use the same principles when assessing Australian market access requests.

Australia currently does not import fresh Chinese jujubes from any country. Australia does import dried jujubes for human consumption and jujube plants for use as nursery stock.

The draft report identifies eight pests associated with fresh Chinese jujube fruit from China that require risk management measures to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia. These pests are:

  • Fruit flies: Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis), guava fruit fly (Bactrocera correcta), melon fly (Zeugodacus cucurbitae), jujube fruit fly (Carpomyia vesuviana)
  • Borers: peach fruit borer (Carposina sasakii)
  • Mites: hawthorn spider mite (Amphitetranychus viennensis)
  • Mealybugs: Heliococcus mealybug (Heliococcus destructor)
  • Thrips: chilli thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis).

The proposed risk management measures include:

  • area freedom or fruit treatment (such as cold treatment; methyl bromide fumigation followed by cold treatment; or irradiation) for fruit flies
  • area freedom or fruit treatment (such as methyl bromide fumigation or irradiation) or a systems approach approved by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for peach fruit borer
  • pre-export visual inspection and, if detected, remedial action for spider mites, mealybugs and/or thrips.

Process for the risk analysis

The objective of undertaking a risk analysis is to ensure that any fresh products imported into Australia are free from unwanted pests The department initially identifies pests associated with fruit or vegetable production and export in the source country that are not present in Australia.

The assessment includes analysis of the potential pests of concern and recommends risk management measures if required. If there are no available risk management measures to effectively manage particular biosecurity risks trade is not permitted until suitable measures are identified. As part of the risk analysis process, the department will also verify commercial production, packing and export practices in the source country.

How stakeholders can contribute

Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft report during the public consultation period, which closes on 17 May 2019. Stakeholders can submit their comments via the department’s website. The final report will be published after consideration of stakeholder comments.

Australia-China trade

China is Australia’s largest two-way trade goods and services trading partner in 2017, valued at $183.4 billion. China is also Australia’s largest export market ($116 billion in 2016) and our largest source of imports ($67.4 billion in 2016). In 2017-18, Australia’s agricultural, fisheries and forestry exports to China was valued at over $11.5 billion.

Chinese jujube production in China

China is the largest producer of Chinese jujube in the world, producing around 9 million tonnes of Chinese jujubes from around 3 million hectares of area, in 2015. China’s fresh jujube export season is typically from August to October with a peak harvesting period of September.

Chinese jujube production in Australia

Chinese jujube fruit is considered an emerging horticultural crop in Australia and plantings of Chinese jujube trees have increased since 2010. Western Australia and South Australia are Australia’s leading jujube producing states. Chinese jujubes have also been successfully grown in the eastern states of Australia in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Depending on the cultivars and maturing stages, jujubes are harvested from February to April. Australia does not currently export any Chinese jujube fruit.

Subscribe for updates

Stakeholders interested in receiving further updates on biosecurity risk analyses are invited to subscribe via the department’s new online subscription service

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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