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Questions and Answers

Protocol of Phytosanitary Requirements for the Export of Nectarines from Australia to China

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What is the purpose of this protocol?

The protocol allows the export of Australian nectarines to China.

Australian producers and exporters can now export Australian nectarines to China under mutually agreed conditions.

What horticulture commodity does the protocol cover?

The protocol covers all Australian nectarine (Prunus persica var. nectarina) cultivars – no other species have been approved yet.

What is the importance of the protocol?

The protocol is important because it allows Australia to supply the Chinese market with nectarines for the first time.

The conditions in the protocol provide commercially viable export conditions and a range of treatment options, and for the first time include China’s recognition of fruit fly pest free areas in mainland Australia.

The nectarine producers of Australia now have the opportunity to take advantage of the second largest consumer market in the world.

When does the protocol come into effect?

The protocol came into effect immediately after it was initialled by Australian and Chinese Government Officials in China on Friday 20 May 2016.

What is covered by a protocol?

Countries with protocol agreements with Australia have specific requirements for importing Australian commodities. The protocols identify specific quarantine pests of concern to the importing country and the phytosanitary measures or treatments that will be accepted to address these pests to allow trade to occur.

What will growers and exporters be required to do to export nectarines to China?

Orchards, packinghouses and treatment facilities will need to be registered with the department in order to trade under the protocol.

In addition, growers will need to monitor and manage a range of pests of quarantine concern to China.

Australian nectarines can be exported to China under the protocol sourced from fruit fly pest free areas for Mediterranean, Queensland and lesser Queensland fruit flies. Should there be an outbreak of these fruit fly species in a fruit fly pest free area, growers must comply with reporting and monitoring for detections and outbreaks in cooperation with the department.

Australian nectarines sourced from outside recognised fruit fly pest free areas are required to undergo a treatment to mitigate against fruit fly.

Which areas are recognised by China as free from fruit fly?

The specific areas recognised by China as being free from all fruit flies of quarantine concern are Tasmania and the Riverland region of South Australia.

Under the protocol China recognises Western Australia as being free from Queensland fruit fly and lesser Queensland fruit fly.

China recognises that Mediterranean fruit fly is present in Western Australia only and is not known to occur in the rest of Australia.

The Sunraysia region of Victoria and NSW, the Riverina region of NSW, and the Cobram region of Victoria are recognised by China as being free from all fruit flies of quarantine concern except for Queensland fruit fly.

What treatment options are there?

No fruit fly treatment is required for nectarines sourced from Tasmania and Riverland.

Nectarines sourced from Western Australia, where Mediterranean fruit fly is present, must undergo cold treatment at 2.1 °C or below for at least 21 days, or combination methyl bromide fumigation followed by a shorter cold treatment at higher temperature than a stand-alone cold treatment.

Nectarines sourced from areas of eastern Australia where Queensland fruit fly or Lesser Queensland fruit fly is present must undergo either cold treatment at 3°C or below for at least 18 days or methyl bromide fumigation or the combination treatment (cold and fumigation) noted above.

How does the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement benefit nectarine exports?

The implementation of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) on 20 December 2015 means that Australian nectarines currently have a 6 per cent tariff applied, down from 10 per cent prior to entry into force of the agreement.
Under ChAFTA, from 1 January 2017 Australian nectarines will have a tariff of only
4 per cent applied.
Further tariff reductions will follow in January 2018, with all tariffs on Australian nectarines eliminated from 1 January 2019.

If I need more information who should I talk to?

Members of the public and industry can contact us through our general enquiry contact information
Phone: 1800 900 090
Media outlets can contact the department’s media team in the following ways:
Email form: Media
Phone: 02 6272 3232
International phone:  +61 2 6272 3232