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Australian fresh produce industry gearing up for export security changes

The Australian fresh produce sector is preparing for changes to air cargo export regulations, which will be introduced next week.

From 1 March 2019 all international export air cargo from Australia must be examined at piece-level by a Regulated Air Cargo Agent (RACA), or originate from a Known Consignor, and use technology like x-ray, or be physically inspected.

The Department of Home Affairs says the changes are necessary to strengthen security.

"The Australian Government’s first priority is to keep Australians safe and secure," a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs said. "Aviation is an enduring and attractive target for terrorists. The Department has a strong and comprehensive aviation security framework that is continually revised to ensure that we remain ahead of the evolving threat."

The Australian Horticultural Exporters and Importers Association (AHEIA) has previously warned the move will have costly implications on Australian fresh produce industries, and has estimated total added costs to the industry could be up to A$0.22/kg, as well as up to a 24-hour delay at terminals.

The Department of Home Affairs says it has given the industry plenty of notice and that it has pro-actively engaged with industry to foster readiness for including writing directly to exporters.

"Security examination of export air cargo is not new," the spokes-person said. "All export air cargo is already examined prior to uplift onto an aircraft. The requirements being introduced on 1 March 2019 have been in place for United States bound cargo since July 2017. If businesses have questions about how the change will impact their current arrangements, they should contact their supply chain in the first instance."

The Cherry Growers Australia (CGA) are one of many industry groups that have advised their members to prepare themselves for the change, also advising that Currently, 30 per cent of Australian Cherries are exported to more than 30 countries in a highly competitive international market. It adds, that exporting cherries is a specialised market requiring attention and detail to cultural sensitivities, biosecurity, packaging, market access and entry and transportation. The type and variety of cherry exported is determined by market access and cultural tendencies accounting for preferences in taste, colour and flavour.

Exporters who have not already done so, should consider things like: packaging of products, handling of consolidated cargo, scheduling of deliveries, and how cargo is transported to reduce possible changes to delivery times and increased costs, therefore reducing delays. Businesses should also Consider becoming a 'Known Consignor'.

Further information about the change can be found on the Department’s webpage, www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about-us/our-portfolios/transport-security/air-cargo-and-aviation/air-cargo


Publication date : 2/22/2019
Author: matthew@freshplaza.com
© FreshPlaza.com

Delay concerns over piece-level inspection

Produce industry concerned about wait times when security screening is implemented in Australia for all exports
Fresh produce will undergo compulsory security screening via x-ray or metal detector from 1 March if it arrives at airports without prior security clearance.

In the short term, scheduling is a concern for the industry whose perishable air cargo could suffer from time delays. It’s not just fruit and vegetables that will need to meet the requirement, but all Australian exported air cargo regardless of article or destination.

Growers and traders can choose to either register as a ‘Known Consignor’, meaning they must meet certain security protocols to bypass airport screening at the take-off point or have goods screened by a Registered Air Cargo Agent (RACA).

However, both Dominic Jenkin, CEO of the Australian Horticulture Exporters’ and Importers’ Association (AHEIA) and a representative from a global airline told Fruitnet that around two weeks out from the implementation date there are only a handful of RACAs on the list.

The aforementioned airline representative said the 1 March implementation date will be interesting to watch as it falls on a Friday which is a typical peak period for the week.

“The most concerning impact in the short run is excessive wait times at the terminal operators, leading to shipments missing their planned flights as the shipments which are not from RACA or known consignors will [need to] be pre-screened,” he said.

“Our terminal operator has published an additional 3 hours in lodge-in times but a lot of us are anticipating a longer lead time would be required.”

Jenkin predicted a 24-hour delay at terminals, while Australian aircraft service group, Menzies Aviation cite an additional six-hour allowance for the new screening process.

 

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Camellia Aebischer

Hort Connections 2019

AUSVEG and PMA Australia-New Zealand Limited (PMA A-NZ) have again united to deliver the joint industry conference and Trade Show, Hort Connections 2019.

Hort Connections 2019 will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 24–26 June 2019. Members in the horticulture industry will be inspired to aim high, with the theme ‘Growing our Food Future’ headlining the conference. The event will cater to buyers and sellers from every segment of the fresh produce and floral supply chain including seed companies, growers, packers, processors, shippers, importers and exporters, wholesalers and retailers, foodservice, associated suppliers to the industry,
and many more.

Following on from the successful Hort Connections 2018 in Brisbane, this year’s event is set to become the most influential space for networking, education and business for the entire fresh produce industry.

Airport check to add $19 million in costs to industry

AUSTRALIAN horticulture exporters are bracing for $19 million in additional costs when strict new security measures are rolled out across the nation’s airports next year.

In the wake of a foiled terrorist plot to blow up an aircraft in Sydney last year, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the security boost for all Australian airports.

It comes after the US introduced similar security procedures mid-last year. The new air cargo examination requirements will see every piece of airfreight either physically examined or screened by technology for explosives and drugs from March 1 next year.
Australia exports more than 87,000 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables annually by aeroplane, making up about 15 per cent of all airfreighted goods.

Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association chief executive Dominic Jenkin has estimated the measure will cost about $0.22/kg, “representing an additional cost of more than $19 million a year”.
“And the true cost to the economy is likely to eclipse this amount,” Mr Jenkin said.

Vegetables made up a significant portion of Australian exports by plane in 2017-18, followed by melons, summer fruit, grapes and mangoes.

Mr Jenkin said the horticultural exporting industry was disappointed there was so little consultation about how the security measures would be applied to fresh produce. “We see the sector as a significant stakeholder in the air cargo community, also one with challenges — low margins, high volumes — the little things can make a big effect,” he said.

The AHEIA calculated it would cost the nation’s vegetable industry $4 million a year in screening fees.

An AusVeg spokesman said while the importance of a safe and secure supply chain was acknowledged, “it is crucial such measures do not compromise the viability and quality of vegetable exports”. 

Australian Mango Industry Association chief executive Robert Gray said aside from the US, Australia would be one of the few countries with such strict security measures in place for airfreight exports.

“We’re going to be encumbered by an added process our competitors won’t have to endure,” Mr Gray said.

AHEIA chairman and Brisbane exporter Joseph Saina said the issue for the horticulture industry was the low value of the goods.
“Vegetables will be the biggest losers,” Mr Saina said.

ALEXANDRA LASKIE, The Weekly Times
July 11, 2018

Australian air cargo to be examined at piece level

The move will have costly implications on Australian fresh produce industries shipping by air

From 1 March 2019, the Australian government’s Office of Transport Security is cracking down on security by introducing piece-level examinations for all outbound international cargo shipments.

Currently, piece-level examinations are only standard for Australian cargo destined for the US, however, the requirement will soon be made for all outbound air shipments. That includes all fresh produce.

Dominic Jenkin, CEO of the Australian Horticultural Exporters and Importers Association (AHEIA), said the changes will significantly increase the cost of exporting fresh fruit and vegetables from Australia.

Each individual box of produce will need to be screened by a Regulated Air Cargo Agent, using technology like x-ray, or be physically inspected.

After screening and loading fees, The AHEIA estimates total added costs to the industry at A$0.22/kg (US$0.16) and expects low unit value items like melons and vegetables to suffer most.

Australia currently exports more than 87,000 tonnes of fresh produce annually by air, which accounts for 15 per cent of the country’s total fresh produce exports.

If this figure remains, the total cost increase for the industry predicted by the AHEIA sits at around A$19m (US$14m) annually.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com

Author: Camellia Aebischer

Cost-recovery model dropped

HUGE price hikes for fruit, vegetable, nut and flower exports have been scrapped after the Federal Government caved to pressure from horticulture industries that argued the fees would make overseas trade unfeasible.

The fees were due to come into effect on July 1 and would have over-recovered more than $3.5 million over the next four years.

But a united campaign from eight industry associations — Apple and Pear Australia, Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association, Australian Mango Industry Association, Australian Table Grape Association, AusVeg, Cherry Growers Australia, Citrus Australia and Summerfruit Australia — successfully campaigned for the Federal Government to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new cost-recovery model.

In an email circulated last week the department said it would not be implementing revised cost-recovery arrangements for horticulture exports in 2018-19, and existing fees and charges would remain unchanged.

It will now undertake a full review of the current scheme, with any new changes to take effect from July 1 next year.

Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association chief executive Dominic Jenkin said he was elated the industry was able to work together to secure a commitment from the Federal Government to consult more closely with growers and exporters to draw up a new scheme.

“We really have to go back to the drawing board now, conduct a thorough review of the services the department is offering, determine whether those services are indeed relevant to the industry, and whether they’re being efficiently delivered or not,” Mr Jenkin said.

“Then following agreement, to determine the equitable distribution of those costs in accordance with the cost-recovery guidelines.”

Earlier this year the department released a draft outlining new levies for 2018-19, including a doubling of the phytosanitary certificate levy from $38 a document to $78.

It included an increase to the horticultural products levy to non-protocol countries of 160 per cent, from $0.65 to $1.70 a tonne, and to protocol countries from $1.30 to $3.40 a tonne.

Horticulture groups labelled the costs “fundamentally flawed” and were concerned the Federal Government was seeking to recover considerably more than the cost of providing export certification services.

The department had stated in its draft document it would not seek to recoup years of under-recovery. But the forecast opening cost recovery reserve had a negative balance of $3.8 million, and the proposed model would have recaptured this deficit, beginning in 2018-19.

ALEXANDRA LASKIE, The Weekly Times
June 27, 2018

Source: https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au

 

ATMAC phase 2 - Callout to companies that import fresh fruit from China and Vietnam

AHEIA has successfully completed the first phase of the ATMAC project awarded to them by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. The project - ‘Bilateral Trade Facilitation through Import Value Chain Development and Capacity Building’, aims to support bilateral trade participation with Vietnam and China.

As a result of phase 1 of the project, AHEIA has produced the following resources:

Exporting Dragonfruit to Australia from Vietnam:


•      Marketing Vietnamese dragon fruit in Australia
       A guide to understanding the market potential for Vietnamese dragon fruit in Australia


•     Tiếp thị thanh long Việt Nam tại Úc
       Một hướng dẫn để hiểu về tiềm năng của thanh long Việt Nam tại thị trường Úc


•     Also available in both languages


Exporting Pears to Australia from China:
•      Exporting Pears to Australia from Hebei, Shaanxi and Shandong Provinces
       Understanding Australia’s import requirements for Pears imported from Hebei, Shaanxi and Shandong Provinces


•      河北、陕西和山东向澳大利亚出口梨
       澳大利亚从河北、陕西和山东进口梨的进口规定


•     Also available in both languages

We seek the participation of members that import fresh fruit from either China or Vietnam to collaborate on Phase 2 of the project:


•      Participants will benefit from a tailored intervention that will identify, and take steps to rectify, deficiencies in postharvest processing, packaging, cold-chain and logistics in the fresh produce value chains to improve product out-turn in Australia.
•      We will be working in partnership with Steritech, the sole provider of phytosanitary irradiation services in the Australian market, who will provide technical support, participate in value chain interventions and contribute their expertise to the process. Please contact AHEIA directly for more information.

 

Australian horticulture exporters’ fury on fees

AUSTRALIA’S notoriously fragmented horticulture sector has joined forces to unanimously oppose price hikes to export fees.

The fees are flagged to come into effect on July 1 and will over-recover more than $3.5 million during the next four years.
Eight major industry associations — Apple and Pear Australia, Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association, Australian Mango Industry Association, Australian Table Grape Association, AusVeg, Cherry Growers Australia, Citrus Australia and Summerfruit Australia — have called on the Federal Government to re-engage with stakeholders before introducing a new cost recovery model for horticulture export services.


Earlier this year the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources released a draft document outlining new levies for 2018-19, including a doubling of the phytosanitary certificate levy from $38 a document to $78. It would also increase the horticultural products levy to non-protocol countries by 160 per cent, from $0.65 to $1.70 a tonne, and to protocol countries from $1.30 to $3.40 a tonne.


Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association chief executive Dominic Jenkin said the scheme was “fundamentally flawed”. “I see no way it can proceed. Loading up charges on tonnages will significantly impact the sector,” Mr Jenkin said.

“It has the potential to undermine the whole model because it would become unfeasible for most to continue trading.”
He said the Federal Government was seeking to recover considerably more than the cost of providing export certification services.
The department has stated in its draft document it would not seek to recoup years of under-recovery. But the forecast opening cost recovery reserve has a negative balance of $3.8 million, and the proposed model would recapture this deficit, beginning in 2018-19.

Paul Scheffer, general manager of exports for major fruit and vegetable exporter T & G, said the proposed new costs would make Australian horticulture uncompetitive on a global stage.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources said it was now considering stakeholder feedback.

“This feedback will inform the final, publicly available document,” a spokesman said.

Source: 

ALEXANDRA LASKIE, The Weekly Times