The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) has formally commenced an import risk analysis for apples from the Pacific Northwest States (Oregon, Idaho and Washington) of the United States of America.
Confirmation of the import risk analysis came via a Biosecurity Advice, issued via the DAWR website earlier today.
Involving a scientific assessment of the biosecurity risks and potential risk management measures for US apples, the analysis is the result of a direct request by the US Government. As a World Trade Organisation member, Australia is obligated to consider all requests and develop import conditions that are scientifically justified and do not restrict trade.
DAWR expects to release its draft report during the first half of 2019, signalling the start of a 60-day public consultation period where submissions will be received from all interested parties. A fact sheet outlining the import risk analysis process is available here.
Following an advance briefing from DAWR, APAL advised Industry of the coming import risk analysis in early-October and has already taken steps to convene an Apple & Pear Biosecurity Steering Committee and engage a biosecurity expert to conduct an independent investigation, on behalf of Industry.
“We’ve been able to move very quickly, assembling the best scientific and industry minds to ensure Government’s import risk analysis takes into account the most up-to-date, rigorous thinking,” APAL CEO, Phil Turnbull said.
If import conditions can be established, the USA will join China, New Zealand and Japan with access to the Australian apple market.
APAL will continue to keep growers and industry informed as the import risk analysis progresses.