Cut flowers and foliage
Importing fresh cut flowers and foliage into Australia safely
As part of the ongoing systematic review of Australia's import conditions, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) has reviewed the import conditions for cut flower and foliage imports from all countries. The analysis of interception data undertaken as part of the review indicates a high detection rate of invertebrate pests on imported cut flowers and foliage including thrips, aphids and mites. Of particular concern is the high number and frequency of thrips detected as many of these are quarantine pests for Australia. Thrips are the primary vectors of tospoviruses, many of which are also quarantine pests for Australia.
The ongoing high number of live pests detected on imported cut flowers poses a level of phytosanitary risk that exceeds Australia's appropriate level of protection. In view of this, the department is amending import conditions for cut flowers and foliage exported to Australia to require that consignments are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate verifying that they are free of live quarantine pests. The amended conditions will also require goods to be shipped in insect-proof packaging and labelled with the scientific name of the plant species. Certain species will require a devitalisation treatment to prevent propagation. The following phytosanitary measures may be applied to ensure absence of quarantine pests to achieve the required phytosanitary status:
- Produced and prepared for export under an NPPO-approved systems approach Pre‑export fumigation with methyl bromide Alternative pre-shipment disinfestation treatments; The amended import conditions will be published on the department's Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) following amendment of the Biosecurity (Prohibited and Conditionally Non-prohibited Goods) Determination 2016. We anticipate this amendment will take place during November or December 2017.