FROM 1 September 2019, import permits will be required for cut flowers and foliage sent to Australia produced using a systems approach from Kenya, Colombia and Ecuador.

Importers can apply now for import permits to ensure they have an active permit before 1 September when the permits will become mandatory for these countries.

Head of plant biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture, Dr Marion Healy, said the new regulatory arrangements would help the department to reduce the high volume of live pests of biosecurity concern arriving in Australia.

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“The use of import permits will allow the department to reduce the biosecurity risk and more rapidly address non-compliance of individual importers,” she said.

“Importers will still be able to send flowers and foliage produced using the country’s existing systems approach. They will however be required to have in place additional pest control measures approved by the department through an import permit.”

Dr Healy said permits initially would be granted for a short period to allow assessment of the effectiveness of the permit conditions at reducing the biosecurity risk.

“We will only agree to approve further permits if we’re confident the importer is managing the risks and is sending consignments with low pest loads,” she said.

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