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

Emergency measures to address risk of introduction of peanut smut

Effective from 20 June 2017

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) advises importers, customs brokers and regional officers of the emergency measures to be implemented on the importation of raw, unprocessed or blanched peanuts.

Recent publications have highlighted the increased risk of peanut smut (Thecaphora frezii) associated with peanuts produced in Argentina. Peanut smut is an economically important fungal pathogen causing severe yield losses in peanut growing areas overseas. This pathogen is absent from Australia.

Australia considers there is insufficient information to determine that the risk of peanut smut is being managed to achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection under current import requirements.

In addition to Argentina, peanut smut is also recorded on wild peanut in Brazil and Bolivia. The following emergency measures are being implemented pending the outcomes of Australia’s review of the pest risk and the risk management measures.

Changes to conditions

Australia will implement the following emergency measures to address risk of peanut smut recorded in peanut smut host countries:

  1. Raw or unprocessed peanuts and blanched peanuts produced in countries where peanut smut is recorded (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia) must be inspected or tested by the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) according to appropriate procedures and be considered free from peanut smut and other biosecurity pests. The below additional declaration must be included on a Phytosanitary Certificate:

    "The plant product(s) were inspected and found free from peanut smut (Thecaphora frezii)."

    The requirement for the phytosanitary certificate and declaration will take effect from 3 July 2017.

    For consignments that are in transit to Australia, consignments that are accompanied by documentation verifying that goods were shipped prior to 3 July 2017, are exempt from the new phytosanitary declaration.

  2. Immediate suspension of import permits that allow for the importation of raw and unprocessed peanuts from Argentina, where the peanuts are to be processed in a facility located in a peanut growing area in Australia. This suspension will remain until a review of the pest risk and the establishment of management measures that will reduce the risk of peanut smut to achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection is completed.

  3. The import conditions for peanut seed for sowing to be amended to include peanut smut as a target pest while plants are being grown for disease testing/screening in post entry quarantine in Australia. This change will take effect from 3 July 2017.

Further information

Please contact Plant Import Operations on 1800 900 090 or email

This Alert applies to the following Cases:

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