Verification of fire ant host material
Protocol for Sourcing Host Material from outside 5km of an Outbreak Version 3.0
|Date of issue||Amendment details|
|11/06/2004||Third Issue - review and re-format|
© State Government of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries 2004. This publication is copyright. No part may be reproduced by any process except in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968. ISBN 1 74146 124 3
For further clarification or advice on any area covered in this publication, please contact Plant Standards on (03) 9210 9390 or at www.depi.vic.gov.au/psb
Authorised by the Victorian Government Department of Environment and Primary Industries Plant Standards 621 Burwood Highway, Knoxfield, Victoria 3156
This publication may be of assistance to you but the State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication.
- 6.1. Host Material
- 6.2. Receival
- 6.2.1. Certification
- 6.2.2. Verification
- 6.3. Release of Consignment
- 6.4. Control of Nonconforming Material
- 7.1. Application for Accreditation
- 7.2. Training
- 7.3. Audit Process
- 7.3.1. Initial Audit
- 7.3.2. Compliance Audits
- 7.3.3. Unscheduled Audits
- 7.3.4. Re-Accreditation
- 7.4. Certificate of Accreditation
- 7.5. Nonconformances and Sanctions
- 7.5.1. Nonconformances
- 7.5.2. Suspension and Cancellation
- 7.5.3. Prosecution
- 7.6. Charging Policy
8. Records and Document Control
- 8.1. System Records
- 8.2. System Documentation
This procedure describes requirements for the entry of fire ant host material imported from areas outside 5km of an outbreak area.
This procedure covers requirements ensuring consignments of fire ant host material from outside 5km of an outbreak of fire ant are correctly certified and verified. Importers receiving host material from within 5km of a known or suspected outbreak must declare the material to the DEPI for inspection, or enter into a compliance agreement with the DEPI.
Fire ants are currently only known to exist in Queensland.
Plant Health and Plant Products Act 1995.
Accredited Business means a business that has accreditation with the DEPI to operate under this procedure.
Act means the Plant Health and Plant Products Act 1995.
Agricultural Machinery means any machinery or equipment used for cultivating, spraying, harvesting, packing and transporting containerised plants, potting media, plant mulch, turf and soil.
Audit means the verification activity for evaluation of conformance ort non-conformance with accreditation requirements.
Authenticated Copy means a fax copy of a Plant Health Assurance Certificate that is provided by an accredited business as a means of verifying certification in situations where the original has been lost. It must be signed and dated by the accredited business and endorsed with the words "this is a true copy of the original". A fax copy of a Plant Health Certificate is only acceptable when faxed directly from the applicable interstate agriculture department (with the fax header clearly indicating the sender) to the receiver in Victoria.
Authorised Inspector means an inspector appointed under the Plant Health and Plant Products Act 1995.
Authorised Signatory means an officer of an accredited business whose name and specimen signature is provided as an authorised signatory within the Business' application for accreditation.
Business means the legal entity responsible for the operation of the facility and arrangement detailed in the application for accreditation.
Consignment means a discrete quantity of packages consigned to the one business at the one time covered by a single Plant Health Certificate or Plant Health Assurance Certificate.
Containerised Plant means any plant in a container in potting media or soil or with potting mix or soil attached.
Fire Ant means the exotic pest Solenopsis invicta.
Host material means any plant or plant product or disease declared under the Plant Health and Plant Products Act 1995.
Plant Health Assurance means certification issued by an authorised signatory of a Certificate (PHAC) business that has been accredited by the department responsible for agriculture of another state or territory.
Plant Health Certificate means a certificate issued by an officer of a department (PHC) responsible for agriculture of another state or territory.
Plant Mulch means any organic mulch, potting media, hay and straw.
Used Container means any package which contains or is known to have contained or may reasonably be suspected of containing or having contained any plant or plant product.
The position titles used reflect the responsibilities of staff under the ICA arrangement. These positions may not be present in all businesses, or different titles may be used for staff who carry out these responsibilities. One person may carry out the responsibilities of more than one position.
The Management Representative is responsible for ensuring that:
- the business is accredited and all locations where verification is to occur are nominated in the application;
- staff abide by the requirements of this procedure;
- a register of Transport Companies and Fire Ant Host Receival Record is maintained;
- staff are trained and are familiar with this procedure; and
- they are present at all audits. The Certification Controller and deputies are responsible for:
- ensuring receivals are segregated until checked for certification;
- checking consignments and verifying certification;
- keeping copies of certificates and receival records for audit by the DEPI;
- isolating material not meeting certification requirements, or infested with suspect ants;
- being available at all audits.
6.1. Host Material
Fire Ants are most commonly spread through transportation of materials. It is important that the following material are checked carefully and appropriate inquiries are made when transferring of the following products:
- containerised plants * potting media
- soil * organic mulch
- turf * hay or straw
- agricultural machinery * used containers
Fire ant host material must be accompanied by either a:
- Plant Health Certificate (attachment 3); or
- Plant Health Assurance Certificate (attachment 4)
Upon receival of each consignment of fire ant host material the Certification Controller shall:
- check for the presence of certification;
- check for certificate authenticity. If an original certificate is not provided with the consignment at the time of arrival, the consignment must be segregated and not sold and the DEPI notified immediately. However an authenticated copy (see Definition) is acceptable when the original is lost in transit.
- check contents of the consignment (quantities and varieties) match the certificate;
- check certificate details are complete and correct and have been signed and stamped;
- inspect the consignment thoroughly (ie every pot) for suspect ants;
- mark the verified certificate with the word "Verified" and initial and date it;
- record the consignment details in the Produce Receival Record (attachment 2); and
- file the certificate(s).
6.3. Release of Consignment
The Certification Controller can release consignments once verification activities have been completed.
6.4. Control of Nonconforming Material
Consignments arriving without certification, incorrect certification or suspect ant infestation must be segregated from other consignments, labelled Hold for Verification and the DEPI notified immediately.
If the consignment is not accompanied by certification the Certification Controller can contact the supplier and seek an authenticated copy. The consignment cannot be released for sale or use until a certificate is obtained.
7.1. Application for Accreditation
A business seeking accreditation under this procedure shall contact the DEPI at least 10 working days prior to the intended date of commencement of receival of material.
The business will receive an Application for Accreditation and a Register of Transport Companies (Attachment 1). Businesses shall apply for accreditation by lodging completed documentation (Application for Accreditation and Register of Transport Companies) with the fee payment with the DEPI (refer to 7.6).
The Application for Accreditation is check upon receipt. The business shall be contacted if any further information is required.
Upon acceptance of the Application for Accreditation, training for key personnel, coving responsibilities described in this procedure, shall be arranged.
7.3. Audit Process
7.3.1. Initial Audit
Prior to accrediting a business, an Authorised Inspector shall conduct an initial audit of the business to verify the arrangement is implemented and capable of operating in accordance with the requirements of this procedure.
On completion of a successful initial audit, applicants will be granted accreditation and provided with a certificate of accreditation.
7.3.2. Compliance Audits
One scheduled compliance audit will be conducted annually. Where possible, this audit will coincide with other visits by the DEPI.
7.3.3. Unscheduled Audits
Unscheduled compliance audits may be conducted at any time to investigate reported or suspected nonconformances.
Accredited businesses are required to re-apply for accreditation each year for continuation of the arrangement. Businesses seeking re-accreditation must lodge a renewal application prior to accreditation lapsing or if accreditation has lapsed, prior to being accredited to verify produce under the arrangement.
7.4. Certificate of Accreditation
An accredited business will receive a Certificate of Accreditation, which must be made available upon request by an Authorised Inspector.
7.5. Nonconformances and Sanctions
Audits are regularly undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of implementation of requirements. If, in the opinion of the auditor, there is evidence indicating that there has been a failure to meet one or more accreditation requirements, the auditor may raise a Nonconformance Report (NCR). Actions required to address the nonconformance shall be discussed and recorded on the NCR.
If the integrity of the accreditation has been significantly compromised, the nonconformance may provide grounds for the suspension or cancellation of the accreditation, and prosecution.
7.5.2. Suspension and Cancellation
The DEPI may suspend or cancel an accreditation when an accredited business is found, for example, to have:
* obtained accreditation through the provision of false or misleading information;
- not paid fees owing to the DEPI;
- contravened an accreditation requirement that compromises the integrity of the arrangement
- not rectified a non-conformance;
Any action taken by the DEPI to suspend or cancel an accreditation shall be provided in writing to the Business. This shall also provide guidance on the lodgement of a written appeal requesting that the decision be reviewed.
Businesses found to be operating contrary to the Act may be liable for prosecution.
7.6. Charging Policy
The business will be charged an annual accreditation fee. This fee may be waived if other accreditations are held by the business.
A fee will be charged for all scheduled audits conducted on the business. Unannounced audits will not be charged. Contact the DEPI for a schedule of fees.
8. Records and Document Control
8.1. System Records
The business shall maintain the following records
- Plant Health Certificates;
- Plant Health Assurance certificates;
- Register of Transport Companies;
- Fire Ant Host Receival Records.
Records shall be retained for a period of not less than 36 months. These records shall be made available on the request of an Inspector.
8.2. System Documentation
The business shall maintain the following documentation:
- a copy of the current Application for Accreditation;
- a copy of this procedure; and
- a current Certification of Accreditation.
These documents shall be made available at the request of an Authorised Inspector.
Attachment 1 Register of Transport Companies
Attachment 2 Fire Ant Host Receival Record
Attachment 3 Plant Health Certificate
Attachment 4 Plant Health Assurance Certificate
REGISTER OF TRANSPORT COMPANIES
Please list the Transport Companies that carry host material to your Business. Submit a copy of this with your Application for Accreditation and keep a copy for regular updating.
|Name of Carrier||Address (Town)||Contact Name and phone number|
Date of entry ____________________
Entered by: ________________________
FIRE ANT HOST RECEIVAL RECORD
|Receival Date||Cert No||Grower/Supplier||Quantity||Host Material||Verified By||Comments*|
* Column for noting problems and discrepancies.