2019-24 - Horticulture Exports Program – Ceasing interim control measures for the export of fresh strawberries from Australia

14 June 2019

Purpose

This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to advise stakeholders that the interim control measures for the export of fresh strawberries from Australia will cease on 25 June 2019.

Summary of changes and key points

  • The Department of Agriculture will cease the interim control measures for the export of fresh strawberries from Australia on 25 June 2019.
  • Exporters are no longer required to provide evidence of screening at the time of export, but are still responsible for ensuring that the consignments are free from contaminants.
  • Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) cases will be updated to reflect these changes.
  • The department is aware that Brunei implemented an import permit requirement for a metal screening report to be attached with the Phytosanitary Certificate, for strawberries from Australia.
  • Exporters should continue to check MICoR for country-specific conditions.
  • RFPs raised for non-phytosanitary certificate markets will no longer need to be authorised by the department’s Assessment Services Group.

Background

  • In response to incidents of intentional tampering, the department implemented interim control measures for the export of fresh strawberries from Australia.
  • These measures came in effect on 19 September 2018 and were notified via IAN 2019-41.
  • The interim measures (such as metal screening) were applied to fresh strawberries to manage the potential risk in the export supply chain, and were to remain in place until the concerns regarding metal contaminants were adequately addressed.
  • In May 2019, Australian police and food authorities reviewed the circumstances of the incident. There have been no new reports relating to the contamination of strawberries since 22 January 2019.
  • The Australian Government continues to work closely with state and territory governments and the Australian horticultural export industry to emphasise the importance of food safety, including for consumers of Australian strawberries in importing countries.

Exporter Responsibilities

  • Exporters must ensure that consignments are free of contaminants.
  • The EXDOC Product Code, “STW”, for Singapore (SG), Hong Kong (HK) and Maldives (MV) will be re-activated in EXDOC on 25 June 2019.

Contact information

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

David Ironside
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch