We have completed a review of import conditions for apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing.
In the final report, the fungal pathogen Cercospora foeniculi was assessed as seedborne in fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and a quarantine pest for Australia, and pest risk management measures were proposed to reduce its associated biosecurity risk to an acceptable level.
Cercospora foeniculi (as Fusoidiella anethi and its synonyms) is not now considered a quarantine pest for Australia. Pest risk management measures proposed in the final report will not be implemented; fennel seed will not require a fungicidal treatment or a PCR test for this pest.
More information is available in the World Trade Organization Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures notification issued by Australia on 1 October 2021.
When we do a risk analysis, we:
- review the science on pests and diseases of concern
- assess and analyse biosecurity risks
- develop risk management measures, if required
- consult the public on the draft report and then review comments
- publish the final report
- publish import conditions in our Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).
About the review
Australia imports large quantities of seeds annually and depends on these imports to produce a wide range of crops, including vegetable crops.
The distributions of seed-borne pathogens are expanding globally, and new risks frequently emerge. The vegetable seeds trade has become globalised and is evolving—seed lines are usually developed, commercially multiplied, and processed across several countries rather than at a single origin. Therefore, the risks of seeds’ exposure to new pathogens and the likelihood that these pathogens may enter Australia via imported seeds have increased.
The increased biosecurity risk associated with imported seed prompted us to review the import conditions for vegetable seeds for sowing.
We initiated a review of four vegetable seed import policies, which was funded under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. The four vegetable families being reviewed are: Apiaceae (e.g. carrot, celery and parsley), Brassicaceae (e.g. broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower), Cucurbitaceae (e.g. cucumber, watermelon and zucchini) and Solanaceae (e.g. capsicum, eggplant and tomato).
The review of apiaceous vegetable seeds is the third of the four vegetable families to be finalised. The reviews of brassicaceous and cucurbitaceous vegetable seeds were finalised in September 2019 and June 2020, respectively.
Summary of the final report
Seeds of six apiaceous vegetable species are hosts of pathogens that are of biosecurity concern for Australia. A combination of pest risk management measures is recommended that includes a test or a treatment for each identified pest:
- Option 1. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test—a measure that is potentially applicable to all four identified quarantine pests.
- Option 2. Broad spectrum fungicidal treatment—a measure that is applicable to Diaporthe angelicae.
- Option 3. Heat treatment—a measure that is applicable to ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’.
Below is a summary of the pathogens and the options for risk management measures for each of the six apiaceous host species:
|Host species (including its hybrids)||Pathogens associated with host species||Risk management measures|
|Option 1 (PCR test)||Option 2
|Anthriscus cerefolium (chervil)||‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’|
|Apium graveolens (celery)||‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’|
|Daucus carota (carrot)||‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’|
|Foeniculum vulgare (fennel)||‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’|
|Pastinaca sativa (parsnip)||‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’|
|Strawberry latent ringspot virus (SLRSV)||*|
|Petroselinum crispum (parsley)||‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’|
|Strawberry latent ringspot virus (SLRSV)||*|
* Not yet operationally available; tests will be phased in at a later date, to be advised.
Seeds of these six apiaceous vegetable species that are imported for sprouting or micro-greens production for human consumption are exempt from these additional measures if they are imported directly to a production facility operated under an Approved Arrangement. This is to mitigate risks presented by the diversion of seeds to other end-uses.
If the required treatment or testing is undertaken off-shore, phytosanitary certification is required with the additional declaration that the testing or treatment has been conducted in accordance with Australia’s requirements.
Seeds of other apiaceous vegetable species reviewed were not found to be hosts of quarantine pests for Australia and they will continue to be subject only to the department’s standard seeds for sowing import conditions.
Your feedback on the draft report
Appendix B of the final report provides a summary of key technical comments raised by stakeholders and how they were considered.
Appendix C of the final report provides details of how we considered the potential alternative management options.
Changes were made to the risk analysis following comments submitted by stakeholders and a review of scientific literature. Key changes are:
- Seven quarantine pests identified in the draft report as potentially requiring measures have been reassessed as not requiring measures because:
- three of the pests are no longer considered to be seed-borne in apiaceous hosts (Calophoma complanata, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. coriandrii and Ramularia foeniculi) as any evidence was found to be insufficient
- three of the pests are no longer considered to pose risks that exceed the appropriate level of protection (ALOP) for Australia (F. oxysporum f. sp. cumini, Passalora malkoffii and Phomopsis diachenii)
- one of the pests has been taxonomically reclassified (R. coriandri) and the new definition of this species indicates it is present in Australia and not under official control.
- Diaporthe angelicae is included as a newly recognised quarantine pest associated with this pathway.
Download submissions on the draft report
Available until March 2022.
|Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries PDF||4||559 KB|
|WA Government Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development PDF||34||1.4 MB|
Published submissions may not meet Australian Government accessibility requirements as they have not been prepared by us. If you have difficulty accessing these files, contact us for help.
Download final report
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, March 2021.
|Final review of import conditions for apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing PDF||249||4.6 MB|
|Final review of import conditions for apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing DOCX||249||1.6 MB|
If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for help.
We released the draft report of the review of apiaceous vegetable seeds for sowing into Australia on 12 September 2017 for a 60 calendar day stakeholder consultation period, closing on 13 November 2017.
|Draft review of import conditions for apiaceous crop seeds for sowing into Australia PDF||232||1.4 MB|
|Draft review of import conditions for apiaceous crop seeds for sowing into Australia DOC||232||4.3 MB|
If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.
Apiaceous vegetable industry
Australian producers rely on the overseas supply of seeds for apiaceous vegetable production. In 2019-20, Australia’s production of main apiaceous vegetables (carrot, celery, coriander and parsley) was valued at more than $400 million.
The gross value of production figures for apiaceous vegetables for 2019-20 are:
- Carrot—$222 million
- Celery—$74.1 million
- Coriander—greater than $50 million
- Parsley—greater than $50 million.
The gross value of Australian horticultural agriculture was $15.1 billion in 2019-20.
The gross value of Australian horticultural exports was just over $2.7 billion in 2019-20.
Source: Horticulture Innovation Australia—Australia Horticulture Statistics Handbook (2019-20)
We will implement the revised import conditions in the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) in a phased approach. Stakeholders will be informed before changes to import conditions are made.
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For more information, email imports or phone 1800 900 090 (option 1, option 1).