In South Australia’s Plant Quarantine Standard, Condition 7 Clause 5 relates to grapevine diagnostic samples and vineyard soils being imported into South Australia from interstate for analysis. Anyone planning an importation must understand and abide by the following entry requirements.

Diagnostic samples are only permitted to be handled in South Australian laboratories that are accredited or approved by Biosecurity SA, unless otherwise specified. The laboratory accreditation scheme is CA12 (Laboratory Accreditation for Importation of Grapevine, Soil and Plant Diagnostic Material) which covers the importation, security, receival, storage, handling and disposal of received material. Phone Biosecurity SA on 8207 7814 to confirm if the laboratory you want to send samples to is accredited to receive grapevine, soil and plant diagnostic material.

Key aspects:

If sending diagnostic samples of any part of a grapevine or vineyard soils to a Biosecurity SA accredited laboratory (that holding a CA12 accreditation), the following must be undertaken:

  • Where the sample is from a Phylloxera Exclusion Zone (PEZ), it is to be triple-bagged (also known here as “securely packaged”). This means securely packaged in a double ziploc or sealed bag, inside a cooler box (or similar hard structure). Where posted or couriered to the laboratory, place the cooler box or similar hard structure into an overnight courier bag, express post pack or similar for transport. The consignment must also be accompanied by the CA12 laboratory’s documentation you will be asked to complete as part of submitting the sample for analysis.
  • Where the sample is from a Phylloxera Risk Zone (PRZ), Phylloxera Infested Zone (PIZ) or Phylloxera Interim Buffer Zone (PIBZ) and the diagnostics cannot be undertaken in the Phylloxera Management Zone from which the sample originates, the sample must be treated as per either of the options below and then securely packaged as above. The consignment must also be accompanied by the CA12 laboratory’s documentation you will be asked to complete as part of submitting the sample for analysis and a Permit from the sending state for movement of the sample out of the origin Phylloxera Management Zone.

Treatment options:

i. Freezing and then being held at -18ºC for 24 hours and packed with an ice pack for transport.

ii. Freezing and transfer under liquid nitrogen at -196ºC.

iii. Freeze drying.

iv. Oven drying at 45ºC for a minimum of 120 minutes.

Note: Probes must be used with large samples to ensure middle of sample has reached the required temperature for the required time. Bulky samples must be spread out on trays prior to placing in oven to increase surface area exposed to the heat.

v. Hot water treatment at 54ºC ± 1ºC for 5 minutes, or 50ºC ± 1ºC for 30 minutes.

vi. Fixative – devitalisation using formalin/acetic acid, glutaraldehyde, or 70% ethanol.

vii. Gamma irradiation at 50 grays in an approved facility.

viii. For juice samples, either: filter, centrifuge or cold-settle to ensure remaining particles are less than 50 microns in size and then seal in an unbreakable vessel; or seal in an unbreakable vessel, freeze and then hold at -18ºC for 24 hours and pack with an ice pack for transport.

If sending diagnostic samples of any part of a grapevine or vineyard soils to a Biosecurity SA approved laboratory (one that does not hold CA12 accreditation), the following must be undertaken:

  • Where the sample is from a Phylloxera Exclusion Zone (PEZ), your receiving approved laboratory must first obtain a Plant Health Import Certificate (PHIC) from Biosecurity SA, and then you need to obtain a Plant Health Certificate (PHC) from the sending state’s biosecurity department. The sample must be securely packaged (see above) and sent with both the PHIC and PHC.
  • Where the sample is from a PRZ, PIZ or PIBZ and the diagnostics cannot be undertaken in the Phylloxera Management Zone from which the sample originates, you must first treat the sample using one of the methods above. Then, contact your receiving approved laboratory to obtain a PHIC from Biosecurity SA, and then you need to obtain a PHC from the sending state’s biosecurity department. The sample must be securely packaged (see above) and sent with both the PHIC and PHC and a Permit from the sending state for movement of the sample out of the origin Phylloxera Management Zone.

Note: Where a diagnostic sample is required to be treated prior to entry into SA (those samples originating from a PRZ/PIZ/PIBZ) but the treatment options will negatively affect the diagnostic analysis, these samples are permitted to be imported into SA for analysis only after specific approval: (1) a PHIC must be obtained from the Biosecurity SA Chief Inspector or delegate, (2) a PHC must be obtained from the sending state’s biosecurity department and (3), the sample must be securely packaged (see above). These steps all apply whether the receiving laboratory in this situation is an accredited or approved laboratory.

A reminder that all regulated imports into SA, including those made under Condition 7 Clause 5 are subject to Importer Registration. The ‘importer registration’ provides the importer ‘authorisation’ to import the regulated item for commercial purposes. For diagnostic samples, the options for importer registration are as follows:

  • Diagnostic samples sent to an accredited laboratory from an interstate PEZ, or from an interstate PIZ/PRZ/PIBZ where the sample has been treated – the importer registration is inbuilt in the CA12 laboratory documentation and no other importer registration documentation is required to be obtained.
  • Diagnostic samples sent to an approved laboratory from an interstate PEZ or from an interstate PIZ/PRZ/PIBZ where the sample has been treated – the importer registration document to be obtained is the Plant Health Import Certificate which you can apply for here.
  • Diagnostic samples from a PRZ/PIZ/PIBZ which cannot be treated first, to be sent to either an accredited or approved laboratory – the importer registration document to be obtained is the Plant Health Import Certificate which you can apply for here.

A reminder that all regulated imports into SA are also subject to Direct Inspection. This is an inspection and formal clearing on arrival into SA of the imported items by a PIRSA Inspector or Accredited Business – in this case an ICA22 accredited laboratory. Penalties apply for failing to comply. For samples being sent to an accredited laboratory, this laboratory can undertake the direct inspection. For samples being sent to an approved laboratory, the direct inspection must be undertaken by Biosecurity SA. To request a Direct Inspection for fruit, vegetables, plants or flowers through PIRSA, refer here.

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