Limes from Mexico

A review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh Persian lime fruit from Mexico

We have released a draft report for the fresh limes (Citrus latifolia) from Mexico 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 import conditions
  • develop import conditions
  • publish import conditions in our Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).

About the risk analysis

We initiated this risk analysis because Mexico requested market access for the import of fresh Persian limes into Australia. Learn more about why we carry out risk analyses and our international obligations.

This risk analysis is being conducted as a review of biosecurity import requirements. This is because we conducted an assessment of the potential quarantine pests associated with limes from Mexico and have found that:

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

Draft report

We propose that the importation of Persian limes from Mexico be permitted provided they meet the biosecurity import conditions.  All imports must come from commercial production areas of Mexico.

Pests

The draft report identified 4 pests that required further assessment to determine their level of biosecurity risk. These were:

  • 2 quarantine pests:
    • A fungus: citrus scab (Elsinoë fawcettii)
    • A virus: Orchid fleck dichorhavirus-Citrus strain (OFV-citrus)
  • 2 regulated articles (pests capable of harbouring and spreading viruses of biosecurity concern to Australia):
    • citrus flat mite (Brevipalpus californicus)
    • flat mite (Brevipalpus yothersi).

Risk management measures

Pest risk assessments found that the unrestricted risk of these 4 pests achieved the appropriate level of protection (ALOP) for Australia, when Mexico’s existing commercial production practices were considered. Therefore, no additional risk management measures are required.

A number of other potential pests of biosecurity concern (for example, some scales, mealybugs and moths) were considered in the risk analysis. Mexico’s existing commercial production practices were found to reduce the risk posed by these pests such that they were not considered to have the potential to be on the fresh lime fruit pathway.

The draft report proposes that these commercial production practices be made a mandatory measure to ensure pest risks associated with lime fruit from Mexico are managed to an acceptable level. These existing commercial practices are:

  • In-field pest management practices: monitoring for insects and mites using in-field surveillance and trapping, monitoring for pathogens, and when necessary, application of in-field controls.
  • Packing house practices: application of washing, brushing, disinfection, waxing, grading/sorting and quality inspection.

The draft report proposes that these commercial production practices, combined with an operational system, will ensure biosecurity standards are met.

Make a submission

You are invited to:

  • read the draft report
  • submit your feedback through Have Your Say.

This consultation closes on 7 June 2021.

We will consider your comments when preparing the final report.

Download draft report

Document Pages File size
Draft report for the review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh Persian lime fruit from Mexico PDF 173 5.5 MB
Draft report for the review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh Persian lime fruit from Mexico DOCX 173 9.6 MB

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Announcement

More information about this risk analysis is available in the Announcement Information Paper.

Download Announcement Information Paper

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, May 2018.

Document Pages File size
Announcement information paper – commencement of a review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh limes from Mexico PDF 3 190 KB
Announcement information paper – commencement of a review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh limes from Mexico DOCX 3 68 KB

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Trade

Australia-Mexico trade

Two-way trade of goods between Australia and Mexico totalled approximately $3.3 billion in 2019–20.

In 2019–20, Australia exported about $31 million of agricultural products to Mexico and imported about $346 million of agricultural products from Mexico.

Lime industry in Mexico

Mexico is the second largest lime producer in the world, with year-round production and exportation. Limes are the second largest planted citrus crop in the country, after oranges.

Twenty-three states in Mexico grow Persian limes, with the largest volumes produced in the southern states of Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco and Jalisco.

In 2018, Mexico produced 1,133,587 tonnes of limes and exported more than 600,000 tonnes of limes to over 20 countries. Most of their lime exports go to the USA, with smaller volumes sent to the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Japan and other nations.

Lime industry in Australia

There are about 380 commercial lime growers in Australia. Half of all Australian limes are grown in Queensland. The other major growing regions are Lismore in northern New South Wales, Riverland in South Australia and Darwin in the Northern Territory.

In 2019-20, Australia produced 19,564 tonnes of limes, accounting for approximately 2.5% of national citrus production. 
Australian limes are available for most of the year (September-May), with peak availability between January and April.

Next steps

Our public consultation will close on 7 June 2021.

After this we will:

  • consider all feedback
  • develop and publish a final report.

We will then develop import conditions, which will be published on our Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).

Your feedback during the consultation period will help inform our final report for limes from Mexico. We expect to release the final report by the end of 2021. Please note that this is an indicative timeline and may be subject to change.

Keep informed

Register as a stakeholder

Subscribe to Biosecurity Risk Analysis Plant via our online subscription service to receive Biosecurity Advices and other notifications relating to plant biosecurity policy.

Contact us

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

Last reviewed: 6 April 2021
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