205-2019 - Commencement of revised import conditions for Brassicaceous seed for sowing

5 December 2019

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is of interest to importers (and their customs brokers) of Brassica rapa, Raphanus sativus and Eruca vesicaria seed for sowing from all countries.

What has changed?

The purpose of this notification is to advise stakeholders that Phase 1 of the revised import conditions for Brassica rapa, Eruca vesicaria and Raphanus sativus seed for sowing have commenced.

Key changes under Phase 1

From 5 December 2019, Brassica rapa, Eruca vesicaria and Raphanus sativus seed for sowing must meet the following conditions:

  • For Brassica rapa, seed must be treated with one of the following options:
    • Treatment with a broad spectrum fungicide, such as Thiram®.
    • Dry heat at 70°C for 90 minutes.
    • Hot water at 53°C for 10 minutes.
    • Hot water at 50°C for 20 minutes.
  • For Eruca vesicaria and Raphanus sativus, seed must be treated with a broad spectrum fungicide, such as Thiram®.

Treatments can occur either offshore prior to export to Australian territory, or on-arrival in Australian territory.

Phytosanitary certification is required to attest to any offshore treatments applied to seed lots prior to export. Where phytosanitary certification is not presented or accepted, consignments are subject to onshore treatment at a Department-approved site that is able to perform the required treatment.

Importers are reminded that limited approved arrangement sites are available to perform hot water and fungicide treatments in Australian territory, and to ensure that arrangements are made prior to importation.

Seeds imported for sprouting or microgreen production do not require the additional management measures mentioned above. However, they must be germinated in an approved arrangement facility to ensure that the seeds are not directed for other uses.

Consignments in-transit to Australian territory

Consignments that were exported to Australian territory prior to 5 December 2019 will be permitted entry under previous conditions (i.e. mandatory treatment is not required).

  • Commercial documentation must be provided to the department to verify that the date of export was prior to 5 December 2019.
  • Consignments not meeting this requirement will be subject to the revised conditions as outlined above.

Next steps

The department remains committed to implement the final phase (Phase 2) of the revised import conditions for Brassicaceous seed for sowing. Phase 2 will include an additional option for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to manage the risk of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. raphani in imported Eruca vesicaria and Raphanus sativus seed for sowing.

A specific implementation date for Phase 2 is currently unavailable, and will be advised by the department once the PCR protocol for Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. raphani is validated.

Background

The increased biosecurity risk associated with imported seed has prompted the Department of Agriculture to review the import conditions for vegetable seeds that are imported for sowing.

The final of the Brassicaceous vegetable seeds review has recommended that additional biosecurity measures are applied to imported seed species; Brassica rapa (e.g. turnip and bok choy), Raphanus sativus (e.g radish) and Eruca vesicaria (e.g rocket) to manage the risk of fungal pathogens (Colletotrichum higginsianum and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. raphani) that are of biosecurity concern to Australia.

Further information

For additional information you can email Plant Import Operations Branch at Imports or phone 1800 900 090.

Last reviewed: 5 December 2019
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