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Alerts provide information about significant changes to import conditions. Keep informed of alerts by following individual import cases.


Final pest risk analysis for Pepino mosaic virus and pospiviroids associated with tomato seeds

Effective from 26 February 2021

The purpose of this notification is to advise stakeholders that the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department) has published the final pest risk analysis for Pepino mosaic virus and pospiviroids associated with tomato seeds.

What is included within the pest risk analysis?
The report presents pest risk assessments for Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV), Columnea latent viroid (CLVd), Pepper chat fruit viroid (PCFVd), Tomato apical stunt viroid (TASVd), Tomato chlorotic dwarf viroid (TCDVd) and Tomato planta macho viroid (TPMVd) in imported tomato seeds for sowing. Potato spindle tuber viroid has not been assessed within the report as the status of this pathogen will be reviewed under a separate process.

The final report recommended the following:

  1. The removal of TPMVd as a quarantine pest associated with the tomato seed for sowing pathway.
  2. Risk management measures to reduce the risks posed by PepMV, CLVd, PCFVd, TASVd and TCDVd in imported tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) seed for sowing, which include:

    2.1. Polymerase chain reaction testing for the five listed quarantine pests using a sample size of 20,000 seeds or 20% of small seed lots to verify freedom from these pathogens.

    2.2. Enzyme linked-immunosorbent assay testing for PepMV using a sample size of 20,000 seeds or 20% of small seed lots to verify freedom from this pathogen, or dry heat treatment (80°C for 72 hours) to manage the risk of PepMV.

    Important: The requirement for PepMV testing to be undertaken using a sample of 20,000 seeds is an increased sample size to that required within existing import conditions (3,000 seeds).

  3. The cessation of testing of wild tomato seeds (Solanum chilense, S. chmielewskii, S. parviflorum, S. peruvianum and S. pimpinellifolium) as these are not known to be a pathway for the listed pathogens.

Further information on the measures can be viewed within the final report.

When will the new import conditions commence?
The department is finalising an implementation timeframe and will publish a separate BICON Alert to advise stakeholders of the upcoming changes and associated transitional arrangements.
Imports of tomato seed for sowing may continue to be imported under existing permit conditions, until such time that revised conditions are published.
Stakeholders can keep informed through these BICON Alerts by subscribing to the Tomato seed for sowing BICON case, which allows you to receive email updates when there are any changes to a BICON case. Instructions on how to follow a BICON case is located here.

Further information:
Enquiries regarding the upcoming changes to import conditions and their implementation should be directed via email to imports@agriculture.gov.au (please include ‘Plant Tier 2 – Vegetable seeds’ in the subject heading), or phone on 1800 900 090.

This Alert applies to the following Cases:


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