Pineapples from Taiwan

​​A review of the biosecurity import requirements for fresh decrowned pineapples (Ananas comosus) from Taiwan

We are conducting a risk analysis for fresh decrowned pineapple (Ananas comosus) from Taiwan.

We will conduct the risk analysis in three key steps:

  1. Announce the commencement of the risk analysis on 23 August 2017, via Biosecurity Advice 2017-17 and the Announcement Information Paper.
  2. Conduct a review of scientific knowledge of pests and diseases of concern and release the draft risk analysis report for a 60 day public consultation period on 29 August 2018 via Biosecurity Advice 2018/22.
  3. Release the final risk analysis report in early 2019, following consideration of stakeholder comments.

A summary of the review background and process is available in the factsheet.

Purpose of the risk analysis

We initiated this risk analysis in response to a market access request for the importation of fresh decrowned pineapple from Taiwan.

As a World Trade Organization member, Australia is required to assess market access requests and develop the least trade restrictive import conditions that are scientifically justified. Our trading partners use the same principles when assessing Australian market access requests.

Draft report - Summary

The draft report proposes that imports of fresh decrowned pineapples from Taiwan be permitted, subject to a range of biosecurity import requirements.

The draft report identifies five quarantine pests (mealybugs) and two regulated pests (thrips) associated with pineapples from Taiwan:

  • Mealybugs:grey pineapple mealybug, Jack Beardsley mealybug, papaya mealybug, Madeira mealybugand Pacific mealybug
  • Thrips:cotton thrips and onion thrips. These thrips are regulated because they can transmit and spread orthotospoviruses that are quarantine pests for Australia.

The draft report proposes fruit treatment (such as methyl bromide fumigation), combined with operational systems, to achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection.

Draft report - Download

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Draft report for the review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh decrowned pineapples from Taiwan PDF

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Draft report for the review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh decrowned pineapples from Taiwan DOCX

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Make a submisison

Stakeholders were invited to submit written comments on the draft report during the 60 calendar day consultation period. The public consultation period closed on 29 October 2018. 

General information

Register as a stakeholder

The Biosecurity Plant Division uses the stakeholder register to distribute biosecurity risk analysis policy information. Stakeholders interested in receiving information and updates on biosecurity risk analyses are invited to subscribe via the department’s new online subscription service. By subscribing to Biosecurity Risk Analysis Plant, you will receive Biosecurity Advices and other notifications relating to plant biosecurity policy.

Protecting Australia from exotic pests

Australia is free from many of the world’s most damaging plant pests, which are capable of damaging our natural environment, destroying our food production and agriculture industries, and changing our way of life. Australia’s biosecurity system, which includes the risk assessment process, helps protect us from exotic plant pests.

We undertake risk assessments of pests and identify risk management options to address any risks posed by these exotic pests. These measures reflect Australia’s overall approach to the management of biosecurity risk.

Zero risk is impossible. Aiming for zero risk would mean no tourists, no international travel and no imports of any commodities. Australia invests heavily in biosecurity to ensure risks are managed.

Australia exports almost two-thirds of its agricultural produce. The future of our agricultural and food industries, including their capacity to contribute to growth and jobs, depends on Australia’s capacity to maintain its animal and plant health status.

Australia accepts imports only when we are confident the risks of pests and diseases can be managed to achieve an appropriate level of protection for Australia.

International obligations

All World Trade Organization (WTO) members are signatories to the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement), under which they have both rights and obligations.

The basic obligations of the SPS Agreement are that SPS measures must:

  • be based on a risk assessment appropriate to the circumstances or drawn from standards developed by the World Organisation for Animal Health and the International Plant Protection Convention
  • only be applied to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health
  • be based on science
  • not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate between WTO members, or be a disguised restriction on trade.

Under the SPS Agreement, each WTO Member is entitled to maintain a level of protection it considers appropriate to protect human, animal or plant life or health within its territory – in other words, its appropriate level of protection.

Appropriate level of protection

The appropriate level of protection (ALOP) for Australia is defined in the Biosecurity Act 2015 as ‘a high level of sanitary and phytosanitary protection aimed at reducing biosecurity risks to very low, but not to zero’. This definition was agreed with all our state and territory governments and recognises that a zero-risk stance is impractical.

The ALOP is a broad objective, and risk management measures are established to achieve that objective.

Read more about Australia’s ALOP

Biosecurity risk

The term ‘biosecurity risk’ is used to describe the combination of the likelihood and the consequences of a pest or disease of biosecurity concern entering, establishing and spreading in Australia.

Australia's biosecurity system protects our unique environment and agricultural sector and supports our reputation as a safe and reliable trading nation. This has significant economic, environmental and community benefits for all Australians.

New scientific information

Scientific information can be provided to us at any time, including after a risk analysis has been completed. We will consider the information provided and review the analysis.

Meeting Australia’s food standards

Imported food for human consumption must satisfy Australia’s food standards. Australian law requires that all food, including imported fresh fruit, meets the standards set out in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and the requirements of the Imported Food Control Act 1992. Each state and territory also has its own food laws that must be met.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) is responsible for developing and maintaining the Food Standards Code. The standards apply to all food in Australia, irrespective of whether it is grown domestically or imported.

Timing of imports

The final report reflects the completion of the risk analysis. Before imports can commence we will:

  • verify that a country can action the recommended risk management measures
  • publish import conditions on the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON), and
  • issue import permits for trade to commence.

The decision to import agricultural produce to Australia is a commercial decision between an importer in Australia and a supplier in the exporting country who can meet the import conditions.

Contact information

For more information, stakeholders can email imports or phone 1800 900 090 (option 1, option 1).

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