Compliance plan for imports unveiled for year ahead

​A new compliance plan unveiled by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), will enable Australia’s importers to make informed decisions while helping ensure goods destined for our shores meet Australia’s stringent biosecurity requirements.

First Assistant Secretary of Border Compliance, Tim Chapman, said the DAFF Imports Compliance Statement detailed the priorities ahead.

“A strong and sustainable biosecurity system protects our natural assets, enables faster border movements, facilitates international trade and underpins our reputation as a reliable exporter of high-quality food and fibre,” Mr Chapman said.

“In 2012-13 DAFF continues compliance initiatives offshore, on shore and at the border with about 5,000 audits of quarantine approved premises, more than 5,000 sea container inspections and nearly 900 compliance agreement audits planned.

These activities provide DAFF with assurance that imported goods meet Australia’s biosecurity import conditions and that importers are meeting their regulatory obligations.

“The compliance program is complemented by increasingly sophisticated profiling, expanded surveillance activities and targeted inspection operations.”

Compliance operations last financial year, such as Operation Abercorn, targeted non-compliance with regulations. Abercorn focused on temperature controlled shipping containers and found risk material including undeclared finfish, ice cream and trade samples of fresh ginger and chilli from non-compliant importers.

“We will also continue our ongoing work with importers to help them meet requirements and avoid delays,” Mr Chapman said.

“Compliant importers can expect to have their goods released quicker and with less intervention—saving them money.”

DAFF works closely with trading partners, state governments, industry and the community to reduce the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering and establishing in Australia and harming the Australian natural environment, our food security and economy.

The Biosecurity Compliance Strategy and the DAFF Imports Compliance Statement 2012–13 are both available on the website.