50-2021: Commencement of revised import conditions for restricted apiaceous seeds for sowing

30 March 2021

Who does this notice affect?

The purpose of this notification is to advise stakeholders that Phase 1 of revised import conditions for restricted apiaceous seeds for sowing has commenced, with the exception of the fungicide requirement for carrot and fennel seed.

The revised conditions apply to the following seed species, including their synonyms and sub-ordinate taxa:

  • Anthriscus cerefolium (chervil)
  • Apium graveolens (celery) 
  • Daucus carota (carrot)
  • Foeniculum vulgare (fennel)
  • Pastinaca sativa (parsnip)
  • Petroselinum crispum (parsley)

Key changes under phase 1

All changes apply to consignments arriving in Australia on or after 30 March 2021.

1. New import permit requirement

All consignments of chervil, celery, fennel, parsnip, and parsley seeds for sowing arriving in Australia must now be accompanied with a valid import permit. Consignments that arrive on or after 30 March 2021 without an import permit, including scenarios where an application is currently under consideration, will be directed for export or destruction in an approved manner.

2. Additional updates to import conditions

Existing import conditions will continue to apply, including mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing or hot water treatment to manage the risk of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’.  However, the following updates have been made to import conditions to ensure that they are fit-for-purpose, effective and consistent:

  1. An offshore laboratory test report must accompany all consignments that had been PCR tested for ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ prior to export. The report must include details such as the species and seed lot/s tested, the size of the testing sample, the type of test performed, and the testing result.
  2. Seed samples for onshore testing for ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ must be drawn from each seed lot within the consignment by a biosecurity officer; samples cannot be drawn across multiple seed lots.
  3. Consignments being treated to manage the risk of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ must be treated using hot water immersion at 50°C for 20 minutes. Other types of heat treatment (e.g. dry heat, moist heat) will no longer be accepted.

The above changes were originally notified on 11 December 2020 (permit introductions),  11 February 2021 (other updates) and 15 March (other updates).

Delays to fungicide treatment requirement for carrot and fennel seed for sowing

Further to Industry Advice Notices 38-2021 and 22-2021, and effective immediately, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department) will suspend the mandatory fungicide treatment requirement for imported Daucus carota (carrot) and Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) seeds for sowing to allow stakeholders time to identify and provide a submission on proposed alternative risk mitigation measures equivalent to fungicidal treatment, for consideration by the department. Information on the recognition of alternative measures for seeds for sowing are provided in Section 4.5 of the department’s Final review of import conditions for apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing.

The department will review the implementation of the fungicide treatment requirement by October 2021.

The department will continue to keep stakeholders informed of further changes in import conditions, including their timeframes for implementation, via BICON Alerts and Industry Advice Notices.

Variation of Daucus carota and Foeniculum vulgare import permits

The department will shortly contact affected import permit holders to vary valid Daucus carota (carrot) and Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) seed for sowing import permits in line with the above changes (i.e. to remove the fungicide treatment requirement).

As these permit variations will be initiated by the department, the variation will be performed at no cost to permit holders.

Further information

Information on import permits is located on the department’s webpage, including:

Please contact Plant Import Operations on 1800 900 090 or email imports@agriculture.gov.au (please title the subject line of the email with ‘Plant T2 - vegetable seeds import conditions’).

Last reviewed: 30 March 2021
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