National Residue Survey 2017–18 Citrus


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NRS 2017-18 Industry brochure: Citrus PDF 41.6 MB

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Key points

  • In 2017, a compliance rate of 99.51 per cent against Australian standards was achieved.
  • Australian citrus growers continue to demonstrate a high degree of compliance with Australian Standards.
  • This result assures international markets of the excellent residue and contaminant status of Australian citrus.

The National Residue Survey (NRS) is an operational unit within the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and since 1992 has been funded by industries through levies or contracted by direct funding.

The NRS is an essential part of Australia’s pesticide and veterinary medicine residue management framework providing verification of good agricultural practice in support of chemical control-of-use legislation and guidelines.

NRS residue monitoring programs monitor the levels of, and associated risks from, pesticides and veterinary medicine residues in Australian food products. The programs help to facilitate and encourage ongoing access to domestic and export markets. NRS supports Australia’s primary producers and food processors who provide quality animal, grain and horticulture products which meet both Australian and relevant international standards.

Citrus program overview

The Australian Citrus Pesticide Residue Monitoring Program (ACPRMP) is a cooperative arrangement between the NRS, Citrus Australia and citrus exporters. This project is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using citrus levy funds and by exporters on a per sample basis.

The program involves the testing of Australian citrus for a range of chemical residues and environmental contaminants, which ensures the citrus industry can meet quality assurance and certification requirements for domestic and international markets.

The main citrus exporters in Australia are listed with company logos at the back of the brochure.

Sample collection

Samples are collected at export packing sheds in accordance with NRS procedures which include using approved documentation, sample bags, security satchels and boxes.

In 2018, a minimum of 450 citrus samples are expected to be collected and analysed for chemical residues. Each citrus sample is made up of approximately one to three kilograms of oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes, tangelos or grapefruits.

There are currently 75 registered export packing sheds in Australia.

Once collected, samples are freighted to the contract laboratory for analysis. All data collected is entered into the NRS Information Management System and residue testing reports are automatically generated for citrus exporters.

Analytical screens

Analytical screens are developed in consultation with the industry and take into account Australian registered chemicals, chemical residue profiles and overseas market requirements. Citrus samples are screened for a range of different insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and environmental contaminants, as outlined in Table 1.

TABLE 1 Analytical screens for the macadamia program
Chemical groupAnalyte
Insecticidesabamectin, acephate, acetamiprid, aldicarb, amitraz, azamethiphos, azinphos-methyl, bifenazate, bifenthrin, bioresmethrin, buprofezin, cadusafos, carbaryl, carbofuran, chlorantraniliprole, chlorfenapyr, chlorfenvinphos, chlorpyrifos, chlorpyrifos-methyl, clofentezine, clothianidin, cyfluthrin, cyhalothrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, diazinon, dichlorvos, dicofol, diflubenzuron, dimethoate, disulfoton, emamectin, esfenvalerate, ethion, ethoprophos, etoxazole, fenamiphos, fenbutatin oxide, fenitrothion, fenoxycarb, fenpyroximate, fenthion, fenvalerate, fipronil, hexythiazox, imidacloprid, indoxacarb, malathion (maldison), metaldehyde, methacrifos, methamidophos, methidathion, methiocarb, methomyl, methoprene, methoxychlor, methoxyfenozide, mevinphos, monocrotophos, omethoate, parathion, parathion-methyl, permethrin, phenothrin, phorate, phosmet, piperonyl butoxide, pirimicarb, pirimiphos-methyl, profenofos, propargite, prothiofos, pymetrozine, pyrethrins, pyridaben, pyriproxyfen, spinetoram, spinosad, spirotetramat, sulfoxaflor, tau-fluvalinate, tebufenozide, tebufenpyrad, terbufos, tetradifon, thiacloprid, thiamethoxam, thiodicarb, triazofos, trichlorfon, triflumuron
Fungicides2-phenylphenol, azoxystrobin, benalaxyl, benomyl, bitertanol, boscalid, bupirimate, captafol, captan, carbendazim, chlorothalonil, cyproconazole, cyprodinil, difenoconazole, dimethomorph, dithianon,dodine, epoxiconazole, etridiazole, fenarimol, fenhexamid, flonicamid, fluazinam, fludioxonil, fluquinconazole, flusilazole, flutriafol, hexaconazole, imazalil, iprodione, kresoxim-methyl, metalaxyl, metrafenone, myclobutanil, oxadixyl, paclobutrazol, penconazole, penthiopyrad, prochloraz, procymidone, propiconazole, prothioconazole, pyraclostrobin, pyrimethanil, tebuconazole, thiabendazole, tolclofos-methyl, triadimefon, triadimenol, trifloxystrobin, triticonazole, vinclozolin
Herbicides2,2-DPA, 2,4-D, atrazine, bromacil, bromoxynil, carfentrazine-ethyl, chlorpropham, chlorsulfuron, clorthal-demethyl, clethodim, clodinafop-propargyl, clopyralid, cyanazine, dicamba, dichlobenil, dichlorprop-p, diflufenican, diuron, ethofumesate, iodosulfuron-methyl, ioxynil, isoxaben, linuron, MCPA, methabenthiazuron, metolachlor, metosulam, metribuzin, metsulfuron-methyl, napropamide, norflurazon, oryzalin, oxyfluorfen, pendimethalin, picloram, propachlor, propyzamide, quizalofop-ethyl, quizalofop-p-tefuryl, saflufenacil, sethoxydim, simazine, tralkoxydim, triasulfuron, triclopyr, trifluralin
Contaminantsaldrin and dieldrin, chlordane, DDT, endrin, endosulfan, HCB, HCH, heptachlor, lindane, mirex


The chemical screen results are compared to the MRLs and contaminant levels set out in the Australian Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Instrument No. 4 (MRL Standard) 2012 and those of key export markets.

In 2017, a total of 409 samples were collected with an overall compliance rate of 99.51 per cent against Australian standards.

Over the past six years, the overall compliance rate has been greater than 99 per cent for the 2039 samples collected for residue analysis. These results demonstrate that the Australian citrus industry use in-crop and post-harvest agricultural chemicals in accordance with good agricultural practice. This assures international markets of the excellent residue and contaminant status of Australian oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes, tangelos and grapefruits.

TABLE 2 Overall Australian compliance rates for the citrus program over the past 6 years
YearsSamples collectedCompliance rates (%)

Laboratory selection and performance

The NRS contracts laboratories to analyse animal and plant product samples for pesticide/veterinary medicine residues and environmental contaminants.

Laboratories are selected through the Australian Government tendering process on the basis of their proficiency and value for money. Laboratories must be accredited to international standard ISO/ IEC 17025 at commencement of testing.

Contracted laboratories are proficiency tested by the NRS to ensure the validity of their analytical results and technical competence. The NRS has been accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities as a proficiency test provider since July 2005.

International export markets

The NRS maintains a database of maximum residue limits (MRLs) established for Australia and major export markets for industries supported by the NRS. All analysis results are checked for compliance against Australian standards and relevant international MRLs.

Australian MRL standard can be accessed at and MRL requirements for international export markets can be found at