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New state fruit importing laws

The Murray Pioneer, Tuesday 19 May, 2009

Local fresh fruit produce importers are being urged to sign up now or face possible delays when new statewide laws come into effect on 1 July in South Australia.

All agents and wholesalers who import plant and plant-related material into the state must register under the 2009 Plant Health Act, as part of improved biosecurity measures to protect South Australia's $1.5m fresh produce industry.

Primary Industries and Resources SA (PIRSA) manager of food and plant standards Geoff Raven said information packages had been distributed to ensure necessary preparations are being made.

“It's important that importers ensure that their business doesn't suffer any unnecessary delays, inspection costs or penalties after July 1,” he said.

“We are working with many businesses already, but we are conscious that as we get closer to the deadline we may have many more rush to register at the last minute which could cause delays.”

The new Act requires the inspection and verification of all imported plant material by either PIRSA or through self clearance under an Import Verification Compliance Agreement (IVCA) accreditation.

Although IVCA has been operating since 2003, it is now supported by the new Act.

For more information on the new legislation visit the websites (pir.sa.gov.au/planthealth/legislation) and (pir.sa.gov.au/ica).

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