8 March 2022
This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to advise that information and engagement forums will be held in preparation for the commencement of the Accredited Grain Surveyor Assurance (AGSA) scheme on 1 July 2022.
Summary of changes and key points
- On 1 July 2022, we are introducing the AGSA scheme. Marine surveyors who perform bulk vessel surveys must be accredited under the AGSA scheme.
- The scheme will be administered by the Australasian Institute of Marine Surveyors (AIMS).
- To support the understanding of changes commencing on 1 July 2022, we will hold three engagement and information sessions via MS Teams on the following dates:
- 22 March 2022 for industry (including shippers and shipping agents)
- 11 April 2022 for marine surveyors
- May 2022 for authorised officers (AOs) appointed the job function BVI301: Export inspection of empty bulk vessels.
- Further information will be provided to BVI AOs in the coming months regarding the May 2022 session.
- To register your interest to attend a particular forum, please visit the event webpage and follow the prompts. Registration for each forum will close 24 hours before it is scheduled.
Marine surveyor responsibilities
- Marine surveyors will need to apply to AIMS for accreditation.
Note: AIMS members and non-members will be able to apply.
- There will be an annual accreditation fee ($250) and application cost ($90) for initial applications, per marine surveyor.
- Accreditation must be renewed annually.
- The names of accredited marine surveyors will be published in a list on the AIMS website, and surveyors will be issued identification cards.
Exporter and shipping company responsibilities
- From 1 July 2022, exporters and shipping companies must source accredited marine surveyors to perform bulk vessel surveys.
Authorised officer responsibilities
- From 1 July 2022, BVI AOs must confirm that the marine surveyor who surveyed the vessel is accredited under the AGSA scheme.
The Export Control Act 2020 and the Export Control (Plants and Plant Products) Rules 2021 (Plant Rules) set the requirements for the export of plants and plant products. On 1 January 2022, amendments were made to the Plant Rules to clarify the requirements for marine surveyors to be accredited to perform bulk vessel surveys. The amendments also set out the Secretary’s powers to suspend or revoke a bulk vessel approval where a marine surveyor’s certificate is not issued by a marine surveyor accredited under the AGSA scheme. On 1 July 2022, these amendments will take effect.
The AGSA scheme reflects the broad range of relevant training and qualifications held by marine surveyors performing bulk vessel surveys and incorporates work experience requirements to provide greater assurance that new marine surveyors can perform surveys safely and compliantly. The implementation of the AGSA scheme does not affect the standard expected of vessels that will be loaded with Australian grain. Rather, the changes put in place more effective checks and balances to ensure surveying practices meet the current expected standard and minimise the risk of Australian grain becoming infested or contaminated by vessels after loading and while transiting to its final destination overseas.
Factsheets that provide more information on what is changing are available on our website.
If you have any questions regarding this IAN please email Plant Export Regulatory Reform.
Plant Export Operations Branch