There’s a change ahead with Australia’s Biosecurity system receiving an overhaul. On June 16th 2016 the Biosecurity Act 2015 will commence, replacing the out-of-date Quarantine Act 1908.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) are now reminding Importers of the importance of having a valid import permit PRIOR to the arrival of goods into Australia.
All conditionally non-prohibited goods entering Australia must meet specified import conditions and requirements as detailed in the department’s online Biosecurity Import Conditions system BICON. This may include the requirement for an import permit.
You should ensure that permits are applied for well in advance of the expected landing date of the consignment. Failure to do so may result in goods being held at the border for an extended period and in some cases, goods being exported or destroyed.
Applications for import permits are made via BICON. Importers can apply for import permits in advance and post-date if necessary.
Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, the department cannot issue an import permit for goods that have already landed. In the past, the department has facilitated imports that have landed without a permit by allowing importers to apply for a permit. This will no longer be the case.
Importers who land goods without a permit will be required to provide information to the department to enable a biosecurity risk assessment to be undertaken. Where possible, the department will manage the biosecurity risk by reviewing documentation such as competent authority certification (e.g. phytosanitary certificates or veterinary certificates), manufacturer’s statements, by treating the goods or other risk mitigation measures. These requirements will align with the usual import conditions that apply to that particular class of goods.
It should be noted that in some cases, the biosecurity risk will not be able to be managed post arrival. In these cases, the goods will be subject to export or destruction.
The department’s website has dedicated information on the new legislation. You can find this information at The Biosecurity Act 2015.
For any further information on the above, please contact Phil Gray, EES Customs Manager.
Source: Department of Agriculture and Water Resources