Vinehealth Australia rates used grape harvesters as the vector which poses the highest likelihood of introducing and spreading grape phylloxera into and within South Australia. This is because:
- As complex machines, they are inherently difficult to clean of vine material. How many times have you started up a harvester the season after using and cleaning it, and some grape material has shot out of the fans?
- They are used in the vineyard at the time of the year when phylloxera are in the vine canopy and therefore are highly likely to pick up phylloxera in locations where the pest is present.
- If cleaning does not remove all vine material, clods may be embedded in the machine which in turn may contain one or more phylloxera.
- Currently, heat treatment is the only technically justified sterilisation measure against phylloxera for grape harvesters. It is most effective when applied to clean surfaces.
- Research is yet to be completed to validate what the treatment specifications would need to be (time and temperature) to kill any phylloxera present in clods of vine material of varying sizes that enclose phylloxera insects.
Irrespective of which Phylloxera Management Zone a harvester is imported from into South Australia, it is imperative that the South Australian entry conditions for grape harvesters are met. These are outlined in the South Australian Plant Quarantine Standard, Condition 7 Clause 2.
To import a used grape harvester into South Australia
The South Australian business is subject to importer registration. This provides the importing business with ‘authorisation’ from PIRSA Biosecurity SA to import the used grape harvester as a regulated item for commercial purposes. This authorisation for grape harvesters is granted by the Chief Inspector SA or delegate, in the form of a Plant Health Import Certificate (PHIC). To obtain a PHIC, complete a Plant Health Import Certificate application form. Your processed certificate will guide you as the importer, and the interstate biosecurity department, on cleaning requirements, sterilisation requirements and other biosecurity documentation required to satisfy South Australia’s entry requirements for your particular import. You are required to obtain a new PHIC for each harvester import conducted.
Thorough cleaning with a steam cleaner, pressure washer or air hose to ensure all vineyard soil and plant material is completely removed, is mandatory. For all harvester imports, this includes the requirement to remove and clean any parts of the harvester which may hold or hide vineyard soil and plant material (e.g., belts, covers and guards).
Additional requirements are dependent on the Phylloxera Management Zone the harvester is being imported from, the duration it has been located there for, and the specifics of the heat treatment applied interstate as follows:
- If the harvester is currently located in an interstate Phylloxera Exclusion Zone (PEZ) and has not been in an interstate Phylloxera Risk Zone (PRZ) or an interstate Phylloxera Infested Zone (PIZ) or an interstate Phylloxera Interim Buffer Zone (PIBZ) in the previous six months, a Declaration (refer Appendix 13 in the SA Plant Quarantine Standard) can be completed and submitted. In addition to the PHIC, a Plant Health Certificate (PHC) must also be obtained from the interstate biosecurity department in recognition of the origin of the machine and the meeting of cleaning requirements.
- If the harvester is currently located in an interstate PEZ but has been in an interstate PRZ/PIZ/PIBZ in the previous six months, evidence must be provided that the cleaning and dry heat sterilisation of the harvester undertaken prior to leaving the interstate PRZ/PIZ/PIBZ meets SA’s specifications. In addition to the PHIC, a PHC must be obtained from the interstate biosecurity department in recognition of the origin of the machine, and the meeting of cleaning and dry heat treatment requirements (including that both the cleaning and treatment have been performed on dismantled parts separately to the body of the machine).
- Where evidence in 2. above cannot be provided; OR
Where the dry heat sterilisation in 2. was not performed to South Australia’s specifications; OR
If the harvester is originating from an interstate PRZ or PIZ or PIBZ –
The harvester must be dry heat treated prior to entry into South Ausralia at either 45˚C for 90 minutes or 40˚C for 180 minutes. In addition to the PHIC, a PHC must be obtained from the interstate biosecurity department in recognition of the origin of the machine and the meeting of cleaning and dry heat treatment requirements (including that both the cleaning and treatment have been performed on dismantled parts separately to the body of the machine).
The South Australian importing business is also subject to mandatory Direct Inspection. This is an inspection and formal clearing on arrival into South Australia of the imported item by a PIRSA Inspector or an Import Verification Compliance Arrangement (IVCA) Accredited Business. To request a Direct Inspection for machinery or equipment through PIRSA, refer here. For further information on IVCA, refer here and for the IVCA application form, refer here.