The Australian Government recognises the need to continue improving the regulation of agricultural chemicals and veterinary medicines (agvet chemicals). The aim is to give farmers and other users access to newer and better chemical products, while ensuring the integrity of Australia’s agvet chemicals regulatory framework.
On 18 September 2019, the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority Board and Other Improvements) Bill 2019 was introduced into the Australian Parliament. The Bill will streamline the regulation of agvet chemicals to improve access to safe and effective chemicals and reduce costs for industry while strengthening the protections to humans, animals, plants and the environment. The Bill will also establish a governance Board for the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and cease the APVMA Advisory Board.
This Bill progresses measures that were in two Bills that lapsed when parliament was dissolved in early 2019:
- The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Operational Efficiency) Bill 2017, with a subsequent government amendment to introduce a governance Board for the APVMA.
- The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Streamlining Regulation) Bill 2018.
In addition, on 21 March 2019, the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Timeshift Applications and Other Measures) Regulations 2019 were made to improve the efficient and effective regulation of agvet chemicals.
Key measures include:
- extending the range of application types that can be assessed as timeshift applications
- providing for greater use of disallowable ministerial orders
- removing APVMA regulation of certain substances
- modernising hormonal growth promotant supply requirements
- addressing an anomaly about advertising in agvet chemical legislation
- clarifying when the APVMA can use information provided by another party to support the registration of a proposed chemical product
- allowing for certain approvals to be dealt with simultaneously as part of an application for registration.
Public consultation on these changes was conducted from 12 December 2018 to 20 February 2019.
We anticipate that further amendments to regulations will follow, including those relating to measures in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority Board and Other Improvements) Bill 2019.