Fruit fly control for importers

International quarantine and biosecurity

Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens)
Jeffrey W. Lotz, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,

Australia is free of many damaging fruit fly species that occur in other parts of the world. Exotic species such as the oriental fruit fly, melon fly, Mexican fruit fly, and Natal fruit fly could devastate Australian horticulture if they were to arrive in Australia, establish and spread. Governments and industries invest heavily on ensure Australia remains free of exotic fruit flies.

Whether you are looking to import small quantities of horticultural produce for private use, or large quantities for sale, it is vital that youunderstand and comply with Australia’s import requirements. Different conditions can apply depending on what you are seeking to import to Australia, the quantity being imported, whether it has been processed or treated in some way, and where the product has been produced. While many items can come safely to Australia, many others are prohibited or only able to enter if they have been subject to specific biosecurity measures.

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture is responsible for developing and enforcing import conditions for a wide range of plant and animal products. Import conditions are available online via the Biosecurity Import Conditions Database (BICON).

Learn more about import conditions (


Go to the Biosecurity Import Conditions Database (


Australian domestic quarantine

Australian horticultural industries are also fortunate that a number of important pests only occur in some parts of Australia. For example, the Mediterranean fruit fly only occurs in some parts of Western Australia, meaning that all other Australian states and territories are free from this pest. Similarly, while the Queensland fruit fly occurs along the eastern coast of Australia, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania remain free from this pest.

Maintaining these regional freedoms is important for both productivity and trade outcomes and as a result biosecurity measures are applied for interstate trade. Information on interstate quarantine is available at the interstate quarantine website.

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