Examination of the Import Risk Analysis (IRA) process

​​​The Department of Agriculture has examined the IRA process to ensure that robust arrangements are in place to minimise the risk of exotic pests and disease incursions in Australia.

The examination of the IRA process has delivered outputs in line with the government’s policy commitments, considered issues raised by stakeholders and Senate Committee inquiries and proposed changes and improvements to the IRA process.

The examination of the IRA process considered:

  • transparency and consultation during the IRA process
  • the use of external scientific and economic expertise
  • regional differences in animal or plant health status during the IRA process.


The Department of Agriculture undertook a consultation process on the examination of the IRA process from July 2014 until October 2014.

The submissions we received can be found on the department’s website.

Thank you to those who provided comments, views and information to the department during this process.

Examination of the Import Risk Analysis Process Report

The department has released a report which summarises stakeholder concerns, issues raised and findings of the examination of the IRA process.

The issues raised relate primarily to transparency, consultation and providing information. The most diverse views were on the topic of science, from the role of the Eminent Scientists Group (ESG), to the independence of industry and the department, to the use of peer reviewed science.

Ten (10) recommended actions to address the findings in the report have been released by the government and are also available here.

Next Steps

The examination of the IRA process related to the current IRA process as provided for under the Quarantine Regulation 2000, however, feedback provided during this process and the findings and related actions will be used in the development of the biosecurity import risk analysis (BIRA) regulation under the Biosecurity Act 2015.

High level provisions around the BIRA process have been included in the Act. The detailed processes for conducting BIRAs under the Act will be in the Biosecurity (BIRA) regulation, policy documents and supporting material such as BIRA Guidelines. The BIRA process will, like the IRA process, meet Australia’s international rights and obligations.

More consultation about the BIRA process will occur with industry, clients, governments and stakeholders during 2015 which will build on the engagement undertaken as part of this examination. 

The government will provide updates on the status of this report within 12 months of its release.

Further Information

Updates and information will be provided on this page. In the meantime if you have questions, information or views you would like to share, please email Biosecurity Consultation

You can find the current process followed for import risk analyses in the IRA Handbook.

For further information on the current IRA process and the examination of the IRA process please refer to the ​Frequently asked questions and factsheets.

Last reviewed:
31 Jul 2015