Asbestos in Imports

Asbestos in Imports is again being discussed in depth.

An Australia-wide ban on the manufacture and use of all types of asbestos and asbestos containing material (ACM) took effect on the 31st December 2003. In order to support the domestic ban, asbestos or ACM imports to, and exports from Australia are prohibited, unless permitted by the relevant minister.

It is the responsibility of importers and exporters to ensure they do not import or export prohibited goods, such as asbestos.  It is critical that importers/exporters comply with the regulations and ensure that goods they are purchasing container ZERO levels of asbestos.

Supply chain security is the key to confirming that asbestos was not used to in the manufacture of the goods that you are purchasing/exporting.  Importers are urged to organise samplig and testing for asbestos content prior to shipping the goods to Australia and undertake regular risk assessments and quality assurance processes.

Importers/Exporters must provide documentation that provides sufficient assurance that their goods do not contain ANY trace of asbestos.  If the Australia Border Force (ABF) suspect that goods contain asbestos, the goods will be detained at the border and examined.

Please note that certification of samples tested inside Australia must be from a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory.  Certification samples tested outside Australia must be form a testing laboratory that is accredited by a NATA recognised equivalent authority.  The ABF will not accept any other certification.

If sufficient documentation cannot be supplied, then the importer could be required to arrange sampling, testing and certification by a “competent person” to ensure that there is no presence of asbestos.  The cost of any independent inspection, testing and storage of the goods is the responsibility of the importer/exporter.

If unauthorised asbestos is found to have entered Australia, the importer of the goods may be subject to penalties or prosecution.

The following goods are considered as high risk for containing asbestos or ACMs.

  • Asbestos bitumen products used to damp proof
  • Asbestos rope
  • Asbestos tape
  • Brake linings or blocks
  • Cement flat sheeting or panels
  • Cement pipes, tubes or fittings
  • Cement shingles or tiles (external or ceiling)
  • Clutch linings or brake disc pads
  • Crayons
  • Diaphragms
  • Ducts
  • Electrical cloth and tapes
  • Electrical panel partitioning
  • Fire blankets
  • Fire curtains
  • Fire resistant building materials
  • Furnaces
  • Gaskets or seals
  • Gloves
  • Heat resistant sealing or caulking compounds
  • Heating equipment
  • Lagging and jointing materials
  • Mastics, sealants, putties or adhesives
  • Mineral samples for display or therapeutic purposes
  • Mixtures containing phenol formaldehyde resin or cresylic formaldehyde resin
  • Motor vehicle parts such as friction materials
  • Pipe spools
  • Raw materials from mining activities
  • Sheet vinyl backing
  • Sheeting
  • Textured paints or coatings
  • Tiles
  • Yarn and thread, cords and string, whether or not plaited

Our Customs Brokers Phil Gray and David Gibson will be contacting you individually if your imported goods are effected.