All tissue culture

  1. All tissue cultures should be accompanied by an import permit and a phytosanitary certificate, and this documentation must be presented to a biosecurity officer for examination on arrival at the port of entry of a country.
  2. All cultures must be clearly labeled with the botanical name of the plant, the common name and an accession code.
  3. All cultures should either be in sterile culture containers or sterile bags.
  4. All consignments must be visually inspected on arrival by a biosecurity officer for freedom from bacteria and fungal contamination, disease symptoms, live insects and other extraneous contamination of quarantine concern.
  5. If the above requirements are met and the material is found to be free of contamination, the material may be released to the importer with no further quarantine impediment.
  6. All consignments/lines/lots or varieties containing contaminated cultures must be treated as follows.
    1. In situations where it is possible to identify that only a certain line / lot or variety appears to contain contaminated cultures, then those lines / lots or varieties not containing contaminated cultures may still be released from quarantine.
    2. For contaminated cultures that are not to be released, the importer must be notified that the consignment is contaminated and given the option of re-export, destruction or having the contamination identified at their expense.
    3. Where the importer elects to have the contamination identified, the following procedure is to be followed. The biosecurity officer, in collaboration with the importer and a plant pathologist from the ministry of agriculture (MoA) and/or the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), must determine whether the contamination appears to be due to a bacterial or fungal infection and whether the infection is present on the plantlets and / or on the medium only.
  7. Fungal contamination present on plantlets only, and bacterial contamination present on plantlets and medium.
    1. Samples of contaminated cultures must be immediately referred to the MoA plant pathologist for identification and assessment.
    2. All cultures in the line/lot/variety or from the same producer (if there is more than one producer) that are contaminated must be held in quarantine for five days at approximately 21ºC and then re-inspected by a biosecurity officer.
    3. After re-inspection and at the approval of the MoA plant pathologist, cultures exhibiting no evidence of contamination after five days may be released to the importer with no further quarantine action.
    4. Following identification of the contamination, the MoA plant pathologist, in consultation with other experts, such as SPC plant health advisers, will determine whether the contaminated cultures can be:
      • deflasked and grown in a quarantine-approved, post-entry quarantine facility under requirements applying to imports of nursery stock; or
      • released to the importer with no further quarantine action; or
      • re-exported at the importer’s expense; or
      • destroyed at the importer’s expense.
  1. Fungal contamination present on the medium only.

If 5% or less of the cultures in the consignment are contaminated:

  1. samples of contaminated cultures must be immediately referred to the MoA plant pathologist for identification and assessment;
  2. all uncontaminated cultures in the consignment may be released to the importer if the contamination in the rest of the shipment appears (by visual inspection) to be by saprophytes;
  3. after identification of the contamination, the MoA plant pathologist, in consultation with other experts, such as SPC plant health advisers, will determine whether the contaminated cultures can be:
    • deflasked and grown in a quarantine-approved post-entry quarantine facility under requirements applying to imports of nursery stock; or
    • released to the importer with no further quarantine action; or
    • re-exported at the importer’s expense; or
    • destroyed at the importer’s expense.

If more than 5% of the cultures in the consignment are contaminated:

  1. samples of contaminated cultures must be immediately referred to the MoA plant pathologist for identification and assessment;
  2. all cultures in the line/lot/variety or from the same producer (if there is more than one producer) that are contaminated must be held in quarantine for five days at approximately 21ºC and then re-inspected by a biosecurity officer;
  3. after re-inspection and at the approval of the MoA plant pathologist, cultures exhibiting no evidence of contamination after five days may be released to the importer with no further quarantine action;
  4. after identification of the contamination, the MoA plant pathologist, in consultation with other experts, such as SPC plant health advisers, will determine whether the contaminated cultures can be:
    • deflasked and grown in an quarantine-approved post-entry quarantine facility under requirements applying to imports of nursery stock; or
    • released to the importer with no further quarantine action; or
    • re-exported at the importer’s expense; or
    • destroyed at the importer’s expense.

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