12 Apr 2011

No date yet for Australian risk analysis of NZ apples

6:03 am on 12 April 2011

Four months after Biosecurity Australia agreed to review its import risk analysis on New Zealand apples, there's still no indication as to when it will issue a draft report for comment.

In December, the World Trade Organisation upheld a decision it made last August, that Australia broke international trade rules with restrictions on importing apples from New Zealand.

It ended a dispute between the two countries since Australia banned apple imports from New Zealand in 1921, after the bacterial disease of fireblight was found on apple trees in the Auckland region.

The WTO decision meant Biosecurity Australia had to come up with a revised import risk policy, and negotiate a new set of conditions.

New Zealand apple growers had hoped to know by the end of March what they could be up against.

But Biosecurity Australia won't say when it will issue a draft report for comment by stakeholders.

Pipfruit New Zealand says the formalities to re-open the trade, are meant to be wrapped up by the end of September.