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Draft import health standard for importing Citrus plants for planting

Update – 8 December 2021

Provisional import health standard released

Following this consultation that closed on 10 September 2021, we've released the provisional import health standard (IHS).

Provisional IHS: Citrus Plants for Planting [PDF, 2.4 MB]

About this consultation

From 16 July to 10 September 2021, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) invited comment on the draft import health standard for Citrus plants for planting. This standard set out the proposed new import requirements for Citrus plants for planting (including Fortunella and Poncirus species listed in MPI's Plant Biosecurity Index) imported into New Zealand for propagation. The scientific evidence and rationale for the proposed measures in the draft standard were summarised in the risk management proposal.

Some key differences between the existing and proposed standards

  • A higher level of post-entry quarantine (from Level 2 to Level 3A) and longer quarantine time (from 6 to 8 months) for Citrus plants coming from MPI-approved offshore facilities to better manage new and existing fungi and oomycetes.
  • A slightly longer post-entry quarantine time (from 16 to 17 months) for plants coming from non-approved sources, coupled with temperature regimes known to be conducive to disease expression, to provide a higher level of management for pests which are known to have prolonged periods of latency.
  • Some diseases of unknown aetiology have been removed, and specific testing for some bacteria has also been removed.
  • An alignment of the level of protection for some high risk bacterial, fungal and oomycete pests that could have negative impacts on many commercially grown or native plant species. This includes pests from the Ceratocystis, Phytophthora genera, as well as Xylella fastidiosa.

Full details of the proposed changes were in the consultation documents.

Consultation documents

Draft Citrus plants for planting import health standard [PDF, 583 KB]

Risk management proposal: Citrus plants for planting [PDF, 641 KB]

Related documents

WTO notification SPS NZL 652 [PDF, 247 KB]

Draft import health standard for importing Citrus plants for planting [PDF, 2.6 MB]

Next steps

After we have considered all submissions, there is a 10-day period which provides submitters with the opportunity to examine any changes to the IHS which have resulted from consultation. An independent review (under section 24 of the Biosecurity Act 1993) may be requested in this period if a submitter considers scientific evidence they raised during their submission has not received sufficient consideration. If there is no review, the IHS becomes final after 10 days.

Find out more about the process

Submissions are public information

Any submission you make becomes public information. Anyone can ask for copies of all submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the information available, unless we have a good reason for withholding it. You can find those grounds in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA. Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include, it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may require the information be released.

Legal background

MPI must consult with interested parties in accordance with section 23 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 (the Act) and MPI's consultation policy before issuing or amending (other than of minor or urgent nature) import health standards (IHS) under sections 24A and 24B of the Act.

An IHS specifies import requirements that must be met either in the country of origin or of export, or during transit, before biosecurity clearance can be given for the goods to enter New Zealand. MPI must ensure that these requirements are technically justified and provide an appropriate level of biosecurity protection.

Find out more

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