Streamlining the regulation of agvet chemicals

Public consultation has now closed on proposed changes to agricultural and veterinary chemical legislation. Thank you for your contributions.

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We will now develop the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Legislation Amendment (Streamlining Regulation) Bill 2018.

The Australian Government recognises the need to further reform the regulation of agricultural chemicals and veterinary medicines (agvet chemicals) to give farmers and other users access to newer, better chemical products.

The 2016–17 budget included a $17.1 million measure that supported commitments in the 2015 Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to improve access to agvet chemicals, while retaining protections for the health and safety of humans, animals and the environment.

We have continued to consult with stakeholders on potential agvet chemical reforms. Arising from this, the government has prepared two reform bills:

  1. The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Operational Efficiency) Bill 2017 was introduced into the Australian Parliament on 25 October 2017.
  2. The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Streamlining Regulation) Bill 2018 is currently being developed.

The Streamlining Regulation Bill proposes to make legislative changes to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994, Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 and Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment Act 2013.

The Bill would:

  • streamline regulation of agricultural and veterinary chemicals by making some systems changes to enable the use of new, simpler regulation processes for chemical product assessment based on risk
  • improve access to safe and effective chemical products, reduce the costs associated with registration, better align regulatory effort with risk and reduce red tape
  • optimise risk communication about chemical products by improving the transparency of voluntary recalls of chemical products
  • provide for a legislative instrument to prescribe a scheme, in the future, to allow applicants and the APVMA to use accredited third party providers to undertake assessment service
  • address deficiencies or inconsistencies in the regulation of agvet chemicals that currently detract from the operational efficiency and regulatory role of the APVMA.

Collectively, the measures in the Bill would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the national system for regulating agvet chemical products.

We are also considering further improvements to agvet chemical regulation. These other reforms include measures that can be implemented through regulations. We will consult separately on these when developing the measures.