Aquatic Plant Penalties

We report a lot on the fantastic work that the officers of Australian Customs and Border Protection Services (ACBPS) accomplish in protecting our borders.

Along with the ACBPS team, the Department of Agriculture officers are also working hard to guard our country against pests and unwanted disease.

Back in August of this year, a Queensland man was convicted and sentenced after illegally importing aquatic plants.

This man pleaded guilty to five offenses, which included the following:

–          Using false consignee details

–          Decoy packaging

–          Mis-declaring the contents of the package

Illegal importation of plant materials poses a risk to our Agriculture and Fisheries industry, as well as affecting trade.  Biosecurity breaches are treated very seriously, with offenders held accountable to the law.

Little tolerance is given to this kind of intentional behavior, with this man being sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for the illegal import, or $3000 and a two year good behavior bond.

“Australia enjoys freedom from many harmful pests and diseases that occur in other parts of the world. Our biosecurity system works to manage the risk of extremely harmful diseases such as iridoviruses that have potentially damaging impacts to native species like Murray Cod,”First Assistant Secretary for Compliance, Raelene Vivia said.

Under the Quarantine Act illegal importation of prohibited goods can result in jail terms of up to 10 years and fines of $340,000 for individuals. In cases of aggravated illegal importation a fine of up to $1.7 million may be imposed on a company.