Okra from India: biosecurity import requirements draft report
The draft report is being issued for a public consultation period, closing on 19 August 2022.
The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department) has prepared this draft report to assess the proposal by India for market access to Australia for fresh okra fruit (Abelmoschus esculentus) for human consumption.
Australia currently permits the importation of fresh okra fruit from Fiji for human consumption, provided Australian biosecurity import conditions are met. Australia does not currently permit the importation of okra fruit from any other country for human consumption.
This draft report proposes that the importation of commercially produced okra fruit to Australia from all commercial production areas of India be permitted, subject to a range of biosecurity requirements.
Included in this draft report are details of plant pests that are of biosecurity concern to Australia and that have potential to be associated with the importation of fresh okra fruit from India. Also included are the risk assessments for the identified quarantine pests and regulated articles, and, where required, proposed risk management measures to reduce the biosecurity risk to an acceptable level, that is, to achieve the appropriate level of protection (ALOP) for Australia.
Ten quarantine pests have been identified in this risk analysis as requiring risk management measures to reduce the biosecurity risk to an acceptable level. These pests are:fruit flies: peach fruit fly (Bactrocera zonata) and melon fly (Zeugodacus cucurbitae)mealybugs: papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus), Madeira mealybug (Phenacoccus madeirensis) and cotton mealybug (Phenacoccus solenopsis)scale insect: mulberry scale (Pseudaulacaspis pentagona)thrips: Eurasian flower thrips (Frankliniella intonsa) and melon thrips (Thrips palmi)spider mites: red okra spider mite (Tetranychus macfarlanei) and okra mite (Tetranychus truncatus).
The 2 quarantine thrips were also assessed as regulated articles for all of Australia, as they are capable of harbouring and spreading emerging orthotospoviruses that are quarantine pests for Australia.
An additional species, chilli thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis), has been assessed as a regulated article for Australia as it is capable of harbouring and spreading emerging orthotospoviruses that are quarantine pests for Australia.
The identified pests are the same, or of the same pest groups, as those associated with other horticultural commodities that have been analysed previously by the department.
Proposed risk management measures take account of regional differences in pest distribution within Australia. Three pests requiring risk management measures, P. pentagona, P. solenopsis and T. palmi, have been identified as regional quarantine pests for Western Australia, and T. palmi has been identified as a regional quarantine pest for South Australia. These pests are considered regional quarantine pests as interstate quarantine regulations and enforcement are in place to prevent the introduction and distribution of these pests into the respective jurisdictions.
The department proposes a range of risk management measures, combined with operational systems, to reduce the risks posed by the 11 identified species to achieve the ALOP for Australia. The 11 identified species are 10 quarantine pests, including 2 quarantine thrips that are also regulated articles, and an additional thrips species that is a regulated article. The proposed measures are:for fruit flies:pest free areas, pest free places of production or pest free production sites; orfruit treatment (such as irradiation)for mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites and thrips:pre-export visual inspection, and, if found, remedial action.
This draft report has been published on the department website to allow interested parties to provide comments and submissions within the specified consultation period.
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