Extension of nectarine import risk analysis to peaches, plums and apricots from China - draft report

​​The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is conducting a review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh peaches, plums and apricots from China.

The draft report includes risk assessments for identified quarantine pests and the proposed risk management measures in order to reduce the biosecurity risk to an acceptable level.

The consultation period is now open and submissions must be lodged by 30 August 2017.

To make a submission:

  • read the draft report (below)
  • provide feedback via Plant

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Report summary

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) has prepared this draft report to assess the biosecurity risk associated with the import of fresh peaches(Prunus persica), plums (Prunus salicina and Prunus domestica) and apricots (Prunus armeniaca) from China into Australia.

Australia permits the importation of fresh stone fruit (nectarines, peaches, plums and apricots) from the USA (California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) and New Zealand, for human consumption, provided they meet Australian biosecurity requirements. Australia also permits the importation of fresh nectarines from China. The import of stone fruit under the import conditions recommended in these risk analyses has occurred, including nectarines from China.

The department has conducted a risk analysis for nectarines from China and the Final report for the non-regulated analysis of existing policy for fresh nectarine fruit from China (Final Report for Chinese Nectarines) was released in April 2016. The department proposes to extend the import policy for nectarines from China to include other stone fruit (peaches, plums and apricots) from China. This risk analysis builds on the Final Report for Chinese Nectarines.

The department recognises the similarity of other stone fruit (apricot, peach and plum) to nectarine, as all stone fruit species belong to the same genus – Prunus. The pests associated with Chinese nectarines are closely aligned with the pests associated with these other stone fruit. Peaches, plums and apricots are grown in the same production areas as nectarines. Additionally, the commercial production practices, packinghouse operational procedures and government phytosanitary processes for the production of nectarines are very similar to these other stone fruit. Therefore, the biosecurity risk associated with Chinese nectarines is considered to present a very similar risk to those of the additional stone fruit.

The department has prepared this draft report after reviewing the assessment of the pests associated with Chinese nectarines, the pests associated with the other stone fruit (peaches, plums and apricots) and the latest literature. The review has identified that the pests of quarantine concern for Chinese nectarines are the same as the pests of quarantine concern for the other stone fruit.

The Final Report for Chinese Nectarines identified 19 pests as requiring phytosanitary measures to reduce the level of biosecurity risk to an acceptable level. All 19 pests were also identified as pests of quarantine concern for peaches, plums and apricots. The 19 pests identified as requiring risk management measures are Amphitetranychus viennensis (hawthorn spider mite), Pseudococcus comstocki (comstock mealybug), Frankliniella intonsa (Eurasian flower thrips), Frankliniella occidentalis (western flower thrips), Bactrocera correcta (guava fruit fly), Bactrocera dorsalis (Oriental fruit fly), Drosophila suzukii (spotted wing drosophila), Adoxophyes orana (summerfruit tortrix), Argyrotaenia ljungiana (grape tortrix), Carposina sasakii (peach fruit moth), Grapholita funebrana (plum fruit moth), Grapholita molesta (Oriental fruit moth), Spilonota albicana (white fruit moth), Anarsia lineatella (peach twig borer), Monilinia fructigena (brown rot), Monilia mumecola (brown rot), Monilia polystroma (brown rot), Monilinia yunnanensis (brown rot) and Plum pox virus.

This review identified an additional mealybug species, Phenacoccus aceris (apple mealybug), that was not assessed in the Final Report for Chinese Nectarines, as being a quarantine pest for the three stone fruit. The review found that Phenacoccus aceris is also associated with nectarine fruit, and therefore should be considered to be a quarantine pest for all stone fruit, including nectarines. The Final Report for Chinese Nectarines recommended measures for mealybugs and these measures are also proposed for this additional mealybug. Phenacoccus aceris has also been assessed in USA stone fruit and Chinese apples and recommended measures proposed are the same as recommended in those risk analyses.

Given that the quarantine pests for these other stone fruit and Chinese nectarines are the same, the measures recommended for the importation of Chinese nectarines are also proposed for Chinese peaches, plums and apricots. The proposed measures include:

  • visual inspection and remedial action for leaf rollers, mealybugs, spider mite and thrips
  • area freedom or fruit treatment (cold disinfestation or irradiation) for fruit flies
  • area freedom or fruit treatment (methyl bromide fumigation or irradiation) or a systems approach approved by the department for spotted wing drosophila
  • area freedom or area of low pest prevalence or fruit treatment (methyl bromide fumigation or irradiation) or a systems approach approved by the department for fruit borers
  • area freedom or area of low pest prevalence or alternative equivalent measures approved by the department for brown rots
  • area freedom or systems approach approved by the department for plum pox virus.

This draft report has been published on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website to allow interested parties to provide comments and submission within the consultation period.