Photo: Duc Anh
Vietnamese mangoes join litchis in being exported to Australia but under strict conditions.
Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources officially announced conditions on the importation of Vietnamese mangoes on May 27, according to the Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia.
Prior to the importation of goods into Australia a valid import permit issued by the Department of Agriculture is required.
Imported mangoes must be produced in Vietnam in accordance with the relevant conditions and work plan.
To demonstrate compliance with this requirement, export enterprises must have a phytosanitary certificate stating “The fruit in this consignment has been produced in Vietnam in accordance with the conditions governing the entry of fresh mango to Australia and in accordance with the Work Plan ‘Export of Irradiated Fresh Fruit from Vietnam to Australia’”.
Fresh mangoes from Vietnam must undergo mandatory irradiation with a minimum absorbed dose of 400 Gy (Gy is an abbreviation for gray, the SI unit of the absorbed dose of ionizing radiation) at a treatment facility approved by the relevant Vietnamese authority.
The maximum absorbed dose for mangoes must not exceed 1 kGy as per Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC) requirements. The FSC is administered by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
An original phytosanitary certificate must accompany each consignment and be correctly completed. Information in this regard can be found on the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) website.
Consignments must be free from pests and diseases (other than those that will be neutralized by the approved dose of irradiation). The consignment must also be free from contaminants, including refuse such as leaves, stem material, soil, weed seeds, splinters, twigs and other plant material.
Consignments must be securely packaged at origin prior to treatment.
Packaging must be synthetic or highly processed if of plant origin. No unprocessed plant material such as straw may be included in the packaging.
A Treatment Facility Code (TFC) and a Treatment Identification Number (TIN) must be printed on each carton.
The Australian Government requires that treated product must be protected from pest contamination at all times during and after packing, treatment, storage and movement between locations.
Containers must have been inspected by the Vietnamese authority prior to loading, to ensure pest freedom and that vents are covered to prevent the entry of pests.
Consignments must be inspected and cleared by bio-security officers at the first port of entry. No air or land bridging will be permitted until the fruit have been released from quarantine.
If any bio-security risk material is detected that may not have been mitigated by the irradiation treatment, the consignment must be held at the importer’s expense and subjected to either appropriate treatment to address the bio-security risk or returned or destroyed.
Should any discrepancy be found with the produce or certification (indicating a possible system breakdown), the produce will be detained until an Import Services Team can determine the cause of the breakdown and provide advice on the appropriate remedial action. Remedial action in Australia may include further inspection, treatment, destruction or export.
Consignments that have a phytosanitary certificate that is not correctly endorsed or where the original phytosanitary certificate has not been sighted by the Department of Agriculture will be held pending presentation of a correctly filled out and original phytosanitary certificate. The Department will accept appropriately amended or re-issued phytosanitary certificates (including faxed or scanned copies transmitted directly to the Department from the certifying authority).
The Department may review the import policy any time after trade begins or if Vietnam’s pest or phytosanitary status has changed.
Once bio-security requirements have been met it is the importer’s responsibility to ensure that all imported food complies with the Imported Food Control Act 1992.