Preventing the entry and spread of potentially damaging pests, diseases and weeds is critical to protect the future of the Australian cut flower and foliage industry.

Australia is well known internationally for its strict approach to biosecurity. Our processes play a large role in our relative freedom from serious pest and disease problems.

The importation of plant materials is based on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, the application of which follows an agreement from the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Risk assessments are carried out that must be consistent, based on scientific evidence and in accordance with international guidelines.

Cut flowers and foliage have been imported into Australia for many years. Over 90 different types of fresh cut flowers and foliage can currently be imported. Imports are driven by the same demands as local flower production, with sales increasing on special occasions such as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, or for shows or cultural events. Some flower species are imported counter-seasonally to Australia. Although import volumes can vary with season, in general there has been an upward trend in imports.

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