Northwest Horticultural Council
Population: 25,809,973 (July 2021 est.)
Currency: Australian dollar
Official Language(s): English
Please click on the above link for a list of chemical MRLs.
II. CHEMICALS AND ADDITIVE INFORMATION
A. Chemical residue standards:
(1) Australia sets its own Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for chemicals on food. It does not defer to Codex standards in the absence of its own established MRL for a particular chemical. (2) Australia cooperates with New Zealand in monitoring the food supply system of the two countries under the umbrella of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
B. Monitoring chemical residues:
(1) A governmental pesticide monitoring program for imported food is implemented by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (ASQIS), through the Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS). A distinction is made for purposes of frequency of inspections between risk categorized food and a surveillance category (low-risk food). (2) Importers, wholesalers and some retailers commonly use a private sector industry “Fresh Test Program” introduced in 2002 for the independent sampling and analysis for pesticide residues (also microbial contamination) on imported and domestic fresh fruit. Samples are normally collected at wholesale by an independent party, the shipment is released, the sample tested and confidential reports are made back to the business requiring the tests. An active system of investigation, corrective action, and re-testing is in place should an adverse result be obtained.
An adverse result is defined as one where the MRL is exceeded or where, under FSANZ, Australia has no established MRL for the particular chemical. If there is no MRL, then under local law there should be no detectable residue.
C. Restrictions on use of waxes:
III. ORGANIC FRUIT REGULATIONS
Australia provides duty-free access for apples, pears, cherries and stone fruits.
V. NON-TARIFF BARRIERS
A. Labeling requirements:
Packages containing products for intermediate sale (e.g. Northwest cherry sales to importers or retailers) requires the following information on each package:
- Exporter details: Name and contact information
- Importer details: Name and contact information
- Lot Code or Number
- Name of the fruit
- Country of Origin
Note: Importer details and Lot Codes are required to satisfy the AQIS Imported Food Inspection Scheme/Program.
Packages of fresh fruit imported into Australia for sale directly to consumers must show the following information on the label:
- Name of the fruit
- Lot identification
- Country of Origin
- For fruit shipped to Australia pre-packed into consumer packages (such as gusseted bags or clamshells), the shipper is responsible for ensuring a country of origin statement is on each consumer package.
- For loose-packed fruit shipped to Australia and sold to consumers as loose fruit, the retailer is responsible for country of origin labeling.
- For fruit shipped to Australia and packed into consumer packages in Australia, the Australian packer is responsible for placing country of origin statements on consumer packages.
- Net weight in metric terms
- Best before date
- Statement on storage conditions (For example: “Keep refrigerated below 5ºC ”)
- Name and address of the Australian supplier (importer)
B. Licenses and quotas:
C. Currency Issues:
D. Pest and plant disease restrictions:
Apple imports are permitted from Japan, New Zealand, and the People’s Republic of China. Details of Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) commencement of an Import Risk Analysis for Pacific Northwest apples announced November 1, 2018, can be found at:
Asian Nashi pears may be imported from Japan, Korea, and the People’s Republic of China. Chinese Ya pears and Fragrant pears may also be imported. European pear varieties from any origin may not be imported.
Cherry exports to Australia must undergo fumigation with methyl bromide. In June of 2021, Australia approved seven additional Fumigation schedules. For details on the fumigation treatment options, contact Northwest Horticultural Council staff. Additional information regarding the export protocol for Australia is also available from USDA/APHIS cooperators in each state.
E. Solid Wood Packing Material (SWPM) Regulations:
Please refer to the SWPM section of the NHC’s Technical Bulletins and Industry Advice.
VI. OTHER RESOURCE LINKS:
Northwest Cherry Growers/Washington State Fruit Commission:
Produce Marketing Australia
VII. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS
USDA/APHIS has requested access to Australia for apples, pears, and stone fruit from the Pacific Northwest.
November 1, 2018, Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) announced the commencement of a review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh apple fruit from the Pacific Northwest states of the United States of America. In January 2021, USDA/APHIS provided comments to Australia on a draft pest risk analysis. DAWE is now finalizing their report, which they have indicated may be published at the end of 2021. More details are available on the DAWE website.
On August 3, 2004, President Bush signed into law the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Implementation Act. The U.S.-Australia FTA entered into force on January 1, 2005.
Under this FTA, both countries’ duty-free access for apples, pears, and cherries is maintained. The U.S. canned pear duty of 15.3% will be eliminated over 18 years.
Special Thanks to –
FAS Field Office – Australia