Submission on the new Citrus import health standard

29 Sep 2021

MPI reviewed the import requirements for Citrus Plants for Planting and released a new draft Standard for public consultation. The new Standard incorporates the existing nursery stock schedules for Citrus, Poncirus and Fortunella.

The requirements for Citrus nursery stock (budsticks and tissue cultures) differ depending on whether they are being imported from approved sources (eg. the Elizabeth McArthur Institute EMAI, in Australia) or from an unapproved source.

NZ Plant Producers main area of concern was in the interpretation that MPI-approved offshore facilities must be physical structures, because this is implied in the MPI standard for Approval of Offshore Facilities. We disagree with this interpretation. The exact same wording is used in the MPI Post-Entry Quarantine standard, which includes scope for Level 1 'Open field' facilities. 

We believe that Open field facilities can still provide a good level of biosecurity risk reduction and offer a practical way of holding high-health collections of some horticultural species, e.g. grapevines and summerfruit.

The other main changes proposed were:

  • Increasing the minimum post-entry quarantine requirements : 

    • from 6 months in Level 2 to 8 months in Level 3A for Citrus from approved sources; from 16 months in Level 3B to 17 months (12 months in Level 3B followed by 5 months in Level 3A) for Citrus from non-approved sources.

    A transitional period of 2 years (for plant material from approved offshore sources) allows imports to continue into Level 2 PEQ facilities for that time. It is hoped that industry will choose to upgrade some Level 2 facilities to Level 3A facilities in order to meet future demand for these imports.

  • Seasonal temperature controls to replace the single summer temperature regime in place for Liberibacter, and align the standard with those for Actinidia and Prunus IHSs.
  • Updates to specific testing for viruses and removal of some bacterial diseases and diseases of unknown aetiology (i.e. where the causal agent/organism is not known).


You can find a copy of the NZPPI submission under Our Work : Influence: Submissions, or follow the link below.





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