2019-10 - Horticulture Exports Program – Release of Australian phytosanitary treatment standards for the export of fresh produce to protocol markets

11 February 2019

Purpose

This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to advise treatment providers who treat fresh fruit and/or vegetables for protocol markets, about the requirement to comply with new Australian phytosanitary treatment application standards.

Summary of changes and key points

From 13 May 2019, the Australian phytosanitary treatment application standards and performance standards come into effect. The relevant documents are available on the department’s website and are as follows:

Onshore cold treatment

In-transit cold treatment

Vapour heat treatment

Note: These documents will replace the Plant Export Operations standard for vapour heat treatment of fruit fly hosts, which will be rescinded on 13 May 2019.

Irradiation treatment

Methyl bromide fumigation:

Dimethoate dipping treatment

Note: The dimethoate dipping standard was released in August 2018. There have been some minor amendments to the standard. All dipping treatment providers need to comply with the updated documents.

Can I still treat product for protocol markets?

If you are currently accredited to treat product for a protocol market there will be no impact on your ability to treat product for markets covered by your accreditation.

Note: Where protocol requirements are more stringent than the Australia standards, the protocol has precedence. Protocols can be found in the Documents section on MICoR.

What is the difference between a treatment standard and the performance standards?

Australian phytosanitary treatment application standardPerformance standard – horticulture exports

A document that describes the baseline standard for the application of a specific treatment for phytosanitary purposes.

There are some generic statements in these documents so they can be used in a variety of programs within the department or other agencies.

These documents provide the requirements that treatment providers need to meet to treat horticulture for exports.

They contain measures of how to meet the Australian phytosanitary treatment application standard and contain other horticulture exports specific requirements.

Audit requirements

Treatment providers will be audited against the treatment and performance standards from 13 May 2019.

Background

Australian phytosanitary treatment standards have been developed as part of improvements to the department’s horticulture export certification system. The introduction of standards aims to make it easier for treatment providers to understand the department and importing country requirements.

The development and application of treatment standard packages will provide a stronger platform for market access negotiations. These packages will help build trading partner’s understanding of treatments, and how they are applied in Australia, in order to promote acceptance of these treatments and compliance measures. This is intended to protect the status of market access and present cost savings and efficiencies to industry.

Treatment facility responsibilities

  • Comply with the relevant Australian phytosanitary treatment application standard and Performance standards by 13 May 2019.
  • Comply with all registered establishment requirements.
  • Notify the department via an EX26 form if there are any amendments to the treatment operations.
  • Issue treatment certificates in-line with the requirements in the Work instruction: Validating supporting documents for plant exports.

Exporter responsibilities

Horticulture Exports Program responsibilities

  • Maintain Australian phytosanitary treatment standards, performance standards and other relevant instructional and guidance material.

Audit Services Group responsibilities

  • Audit treatment facilities against the relevant phytosanitary treatment application standard and performance standards from 13 May 2019.

Assessment Services Group responsibilities

  • Verify each treatment of protocol fresh fruit and vegetables has been conducted in a facility that is registered for the applicable treatment.

Contact information

If you have any questions regarding this IAN please email the Horticulture Exports Program.

David Ironside
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch