Draft Facility Standard for Post Entry Quarantine for Plants

Closing Date:

Contact: Plant Imports team

Email: plantimports@mpi.govt.nz

Update - 6 April 2017

MPI emailed the latest update on the implementation of the revised Facility Standard: Post Entry Quarantine for Plants to all PEQ facility operators on 6 April 2017.


Update - 29 March 2017

MPI released the Summary of MPI expectations for PEQ operating manuals - March 2017.


Update - 10 February 2017

MPI emailed the latest update on the implementation of the revised Facility Standard: Post Entry Quarantine for Plants to all PEQ facility operators on 10 February 2017.


Update - December 2016

A general update on the implementation of the revised Facility Standard: Post Entry Quarantine for Plants was issued in early December 2016.


Update - 29 November 2016

MPI emailed the latest update on the implementation of the revised Facility Standard: Post Entry Quarantine for Plants to all PEQ facility operators on 29 November 2016.


Update – 28 June 2016

Changes to levels of quarantine after revised PEQ standard takes effect

The new PEQ (post-entry quarantine) standard comes into force on 8 March 2017. There will be no change in the level of PEQ for most imported nursery stock.

  • All ornamental plant species currently eligible for quarantine in a Level 1 or Level 2 facility will remain in the same level of quarantine.
  • High value crops from offshore MPI accredited facilities are currently held in either Level 2 or Level 3 PEQ (known as level 3B under the revised standard). The same levels will apply once the new standard comes into effect.
  • All species currently imported into a Level 3 PEQ facility will be expected to enter the same level of quarantine (that is, Level 3B) when the revised standard takes effect. Both Level 3 facilities that are currently allowed to import whole plants already comply with the revised requirements, so this will not have any effect on ongoing imports.
Note:
  • For all species, the level of PEQ will be reassessed when the import health standard is next updated, or (for material from accredited offshore facilities) when the offshore facility is next audited. For example, as part of the current review of the Citrus schedule in the nursery stock IHS, MPI is considering whether Level 2, 3A or 3B is the most appropriate level of quarantine.
  • MPI may change the level of quarantine if there is a change in the risk profile of a particular plant species. For example, if a new disease is recorded as being associated with a particular plant species, it may be necessary to impose a higher level of quarantine. An example of this is when MPI discovered that phytoplasmas may be present in Rosa nursery stock. In that case, the level of PEQ was changed from Level 1 to Level 2. This was because phytoplasmas could not be contained in a Level 1 facility.

Implementation of the revised standard

The following timeframes have been allowed for compliance with the revised standard:

  • Any new facilities must comply with the standard from 8 March 2016.
  • All existing facilities must comply with the revised operational requirements by 8 March 2017.
  • Facilities that are in use will have 12 months from the biosecurity clearance date of consignments that are in being held in a facility on 8 March 2016 to comply with the revised physical and structural requirements.
  • Existing facilities that are not active (not holding quarantine material) on 1 March 2016 must comply with all physical and structural requirements of the revised standard by 1 March 2017.

Update – 1 March 2016

The revised facility standard for post-entry quarantine for plants was issued on 1 March 2016:

MPI has also prepared a guidance document and an example operating manual to help facility operators to understand and meet the requirements of the revised standard:

If you have any questions about the revised standard, email plantimports@mpi.govt.nz

Submissions

A summary of the submissions received for this consultation is available.

Background to consultation

From 28 October 2015 to 27 November 2015 the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) invited comment on proposed changes to the Facility Standard: Post Entry Quarantine for Plants.

The facility standard sets out the requirements for operating a post entry quarantine (PEQ) facility to grow, inspect and/or test imported nursery stock or seed before it is given biosecurity clearance. The revised standard is intended to replace the existing MAF Biosecurity Authority Standard (PBC-New Zealand-TRA-PQCON: Specification for the Registration of a Plant Quarantine or Containment Facility, and Operator).

Download the existing MAF Biosecurity Authority Standard [PDF, 281 KB]

The risk profile of many plant species has changed since the current standard was issued in 1999, and more stringent measures are considered necessary to strengthen New Zealand's biosecurity system. Strengthening this standard is particularly important because plant material imported for propagation is one of the most high risk pathways for the introduction of pests and diseases to new areas. As well as better managing biosecurity risk, the revised standard is intended to be more flexible and easier to understand.

MPI has developed the standard based on the best available technical evidence and assessment of this evidence. To assist MPI to understand your feedback, if you disagree with the measures proposed to manage the risks, provide either data or published references to support your comments. Similarly, if you support the proposed measures, or consider that additional measures are required to manage the risks, provide appropriate evidence to support your comments. This will enable MPI to consider additional evidence which may change how risks are managed.

MPI has collaborated with a project board made up of industry and Crown Research Institute representatives to review the standard and accompanying documents, and has made various modifications based on feedback from the project board. The review has been supported by the Germplasm Advisory Committee (GERMAC).

Consultation documents

What's being proposed

The risk management proposal describes the proposed changes in detail along with the technical justification for these changes. A brief summary follows of some of the main changes proposed for the standard.

Changes to operational requirements

  • All facility operators must develop an operating manual that describes how the facility will meet the requirements of the standard and identifies what procedures are used to manage biosecurity risks. To assist operators, MPI has prepared an example operating manual for a hypothetical Level 2 PEQ facility.
  • All facility operators will be required to undertake an operator training course. This is to provide an understanding of biosecurity risks and roles and requirements of PEQ facility operators, including the legal responsibilities of operators. The full content of the course will be developed once the revised standard is finalised after consultation.
  • The facility operator must provide training for all facility staff and visitors. The required level of training will depend on the roles and responsibilities of a particular person.
  • All facilities must be checked for physical or structural defects at least once a month. Records must be retained of such checks.
  • An internal audit of each facility must be done at least once every 6 months. This is to verify that all systems are working effectively to manage biosecurity risk and that all operating procedures are being followed as described in the operating manual.
  • Audit frequency dispensations may be granted to reduce the frequency of facility audits by the MPI inspector. Such dispensations would only be given to high-performing facilities with an excellent history of compliance and demonstrated commitment to good industry practice.
  • All plants must be regularly inspected for signs and symptoms of pests and diseases. Plants must be inspected at least once or twice a week (depending on the level of facility).
  • A single on-arrival fungicide treatment may be applied to plants entering a Level 1 or Level 2 PEQ facility. This must be done within 48 hours of material entering the facility.

Changes to physical and structural requirements

  • Some changes are proposed to physical and structural requirements of facilities. A table summarising these changes, which include incorporating an additional level of facility in the revised standard is available. The additional level will give more options to contain pests that cannot be contained in a Level 2 facility, but that do not need to be held in the highest level of facility. These requirements, as set out in the facility standard, are discussed in more detail in the risk management proposal.

Download a table summarising changes to physical and structural requirements [PDF, 281 KB]

Implementation of the standard

The intention is for the standard to be finalised after consultation and issued on 1 March 2016. The following timeframes will be allowed for compliance with the revised standard:

  • Any new facilities must comply with the standard from 1 March 2016.
  • Existing facilities will have 12 months to comply with all operational requirements (so they must comply by 1 March 2017).
  • Facilities that are in use will have 12 months from the biosecurity clearance date of consignments that are in being held in a facility on 1 March 2016 to comply with the revised physical and structural requirements.
  • Existing facilities that are not active (not holding quarantine material) on 1 March 2016 must comply with all physical and structural requirements of the revised standard by 1 March 2017.

Make your submission

Email your feedback on the draft by 5pm on 27 November 2015  to plantimports@mpi.govt.nz

Make sure you include in your submission:

  • the title of the consultation document in the subject line of your email
  • your name and title, if applicable
  • your organisation's name (if you're submitting on behalf of an organisation)
  • your contact details (for example, phone number, address and email).

While we prefer email, you can send your submission by post to:

Plant Imports
Plants, Food and Environment
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

All submissions received by the closing date will be considered before the facility standard is issued. MPI may hold late submissions on file for consideration when the issued facility standard is next revised or reviewed.

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.

Who to contact

If you have questions about this consultation, email plantimports@mpi.govt.nz

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