Safeguarding Arrangements applications are now open for 2023-24 BMSB season.
The Safeguarding Arrangements Scheme (the scheme) offers an alternative clearance pathway for BMSB targeted goods, shipped in hard six-sided containers from risk countries during the BMSB risk season, 1 September to 30 April.
These seasonal measures assist in lowering the risk of BMSB arriving and establishing in Australia.
The scheme offers importers the opportunity to demonstrate that processes in their manufacturing supply chain* can effectively prevent their goods from being exposed and contaminated with BMSB and other exotic pests. These approved alternative biosecurity controls remove the requirement for mandatory BMSB treatment on arrival, by ensuring the goods are BMSB free prior to export to Australia.
The applicant, in consultation with the supplier, must consider their own unique manufacture, storage, and transport circumstances. These actions and processes must be outlined in a supply chain plan as part of the Safeguarding Arrangement Scheme application and be supported by direct evidence. The applicant must also ensure the supply chain plan can be independently audited.
Approval to participate in the scheme is based on annual application to ensure current information is used to decide if an approval should be granted. Each application will be considered based on the information provided, and previous participation does not guarantee approval in future years.
*A manufacturing supply chain includes all offshore sites from manufacture, storage, through to export to Australia and is identified by a single Supplier ID.
Applications are open from 31 July to 30 January and submissions must be complete before assessment can begin. Applying for the scheme does not automatically result in approval being granted.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate the following as part of their application. Please consider whether you and your supply chain can meet each of these requirements prior to applying for the scheme.
- Goods must be imported into Australia by a single importing entity that has a valid Australian Company Number (ACN) and/or Australian Business Number (ABN).
- Goods must be transported in a hard six -sided shipping container.
- Goods must be stored indoors between manufacture and export to Australia.
- Processes and mitigation actions are in place (and can be demonstrated) throughout the supply chain to protect the goods from exposure to BMSB, exotic pests and other biosecurity risks.
- Contingency actions are in place (and can be demonstrated) in case BMSB is detected at any point in the supply chain.
- Container unpack location in Australia must be in a metro location according to the department’s Postcode delivery classifications webpage.
- If approved, all supply chain staff must complete the department’s online Hitchhiker awareness training and understand their obligations under the safeguarding agreement. The training package will be provided on approval of your application.
- Provide at least one supply chain compliance audit which meets your department approved supply chain plan for each manufacturing and indoor storage site within 60 days of receiving formal approval for the current season.
Possible mitigation processes and actions may include:
- Secure packaging immediately after manufacture.
- Goods stored at constant temperatures below 5°C (41°F) after manufacture until arrival in Australia.
- Detailed inspection procedures during storage and when loading to ensure goods are free of BMSB and other pests.
- Pest treatments – including insecticidal fogging and residual insecticide treatments.
- Pest inspections by accredited providers.
Applications for the scheme are not available to:
- Onshore supply chains or sites located in Australia.
- Goods transported as breakbulk (BB) including flat rack and open top containers.
- Goods transported in Less than Container Load (LCL) and Freight of All Kinds (FAK) containers.
- Goods that have ‘many-to-many’ supply chains, such as those encompassing goods obtained from multiple suppliers to multiple importers.
- Distribution centres.
- Ensure all processes and actions outlined in the Safeguarding agreement are followed to ensure goods are exported to Australia BMSB free.
- Ensure all shipping containers are clean and BMSB free prior to loading goods.
- Manage the unpack of goods imported into Australia in a metro area.
- Conduct at least one independent audit which meets the approved supply chain plan for each manufacturing and indoor storage site, within 60 days of receiving formal approval for the current season and provide details of the audit to the department for review.
- Contact the Safeguarding team immediately if pest detections are made at any point in the supply chain.
If you SEE any biosecurity concerns, SECURE the goods and immediately and REPORT to Biosecurity Reports on 1800 798 636.
SEE. SECURE. REPORT
Applications for the department's Safeguarding Arrangement Scheme are open for submission annually between 1 July and 30 January via the ‘Application for BMSB Safeguarding Arrangement Scheme’ form.
The following information must be supplied when submitting the application:
- Completed application form including supply chain mitigation and contingency actions and processes.
- Australian Border Force (ABF) import data report covering the previous 3 years to demonstrate minimum import requirements. Participating applicants of the previous BMSB season wishing to reapply will only be required to supply a report for the last 12 months. Please contact the ABF via email at email@example.com to obtain a copy of the report.
- A minimum of six images showing the inside and outside of all manufacturing and indoor storage sites listed in the application.
Please refer to the Safeguarding Arrangement: Supply Chain Processes Guideline to assist in the submission of your application.
A supply chain compliance audit outlines all processes that an organisation follows to lower the risk of BMSB, and other exotic pests and diseases of biosecurity concern.
Each site included in the approved supply chain plan must undergo an audit and reports must demonstrate the supply chain is compliant with the requirements of the Safeguarding Arrangement Scheme.
Approved participants of the scheme are required to conduct at least one supply chain compliance audit which meets the approved supply chain plan for each manufacturing and indoor storage site, within 60 days of the approval date and provide to the department for review.
The use of an independent, unbiased auditor is preferred however, where this is not possible, the audit may be carried out by a senior employee such as a Quality Assurance Manager.
Prior to commencing the audit, auditors should be provided with the approved supply chain plan and your application form to inform them of the requirements of the scheme.
The following information should be included in the audit (note this list is not exclusive):
- The auditors name and credentials/company position.
- A brief description of the report’s intention.
- An overview of the current practice/s of the site.
- Is the premises operating as described in the application form?
- A list of the site documents reviewed.
- Verification that the premise is kept clean, dry, and free from pests and contamination.
- Verification the exterior area of the premise is properly maintained to discourage pests such as BMSB.
- Verification that each step or procedure in the supply chain is followed and adhered to.
- Outline any measures undertaken to close any supply chain gaps or rectify non-compliance.
- Do reporting procedures exist for biosecurity risks, including BMSB? What are they?
- Specify if the mitigation and contingency procedures are sufficient to ensure goods arrive in Australia BMSB free.
- Summary of the audits finding.
- Reports must be signed by the auditor, on auditors’ letterhead or company letterhead.
Images/photos can also be supplied to support the information on the Audit report(s).
Failure to provide an audit report to the department will result in suspension of that entity from the scheme until an audit report is provided which shows compliance. Audit reports showing non-compliance will be assessed on a case by case basis.
The department's Compliance Policy framework is available here, Compliance Policy.
If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.
FAQs about the Safeguarding Arrangement Scheme
The scheme is an option available to importers looking for an alternative pathway to compulsory treatment when importing goods that fall under BMSB high risk tariffs.
Approved applicants have proven their supply chain is low risk due to the mitigation processes they have implemented. They may import goods that are sensitive to the regular treatments for BMSB such as Methyl Bromide fumigation or heat treatment.
The benefits to applicants could include:
- Potential for lowering of costs associated with importing high risk tariff goods, due to the removal of compulsory fumigation throughout the season.
- Less time at the port due to automatic processing of entries.
Applications are submitted online via the ‘Application for BMSB Safeguarding Arrangement Scheme’ form.
- Step 1 Applicant submits a completed application form and supporting documentation.
- Step 2 The application and supporting documentation is assessed by the Safeguarding team, additional information is requested from the applicant if required.
- Step 3 Applicant must provide the additional requested information for further assessment.
- Step 4 Decision is made on the applicant’s suitability for the scheme and advised accordingly.
- Step 5 The applicant receives formal notification of the application assessment decision.
The online application form has a 50 MB limit and accepts a maximum 32 files. Accepted filetypes include: gif, jpg, png, bmp, pict, txt, rtf, html, pdf, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, xls, xlsx, zip.
Application assessments can be complex and processing times may vary. All efforts are made to complete assessments as soon as possible. Approvals will only be granted to once all requested information has been provided by the applicant and assessed as satisfactory.
Approved applications will cover consignments that are exported on or after the approval date and cannot be backdated to the application submission date or start of the BMSB season. Those consignments exported prior to approval will be subject to the BMSB seasonal measures.
The Contingency and Mitigation plan is an essential assessment requirement for the application process. An effective plan addresses the biosecurity measures and controls in each stage of the supply chain (production, storage, and shipping etc.)
We assess the steps and considerations relevant to the applicant’s business requirements, on how an occurrence of BMSB would be treated if discovered at any point in the supply chain.
The department offers a guide to assist with meeting this requirement, located in the downloads section of the departments website.
The ABF report is part of the verification process in the assessment of safeguarding arrangement applications. We verify the applicant’s import activities, such as import volume, the country of origin and country of export against each supplier ID the applicant wishes to include under their safeguarding arrangement.
New applicants will need to submit a report from the last 3 years to verify import activities.
Participating applicants of the previous BMSB season wishing to reapply will only be required to supply a report for the last 12 months.
The ABF report must be requested by the applicant via Accessing ICS information (abf.gov.au). Sufficient time should be given for the request to be processed and the report provided by ABF.
Yes. The Scheme currently requires the unpack location nominated in your supply chain to be located at a recognised metropolitan location. This can be checked at Postcode delivery classifications.
Overseas suppliers with outdoor storage sites will not be accepted into the scheme due to the biosecurity risk posed by BMSB and other hitchhiking pests.
BMSB often shelter in man-made structures including warehouses during their overwintering period. All goods where large infestations of BMSB have been found share the common features of having internal gaps or spaces, and having been stored outdoors or under limited shelter.
The department deems the risk of outdoor storage as too high to be considered for the scheme due to these reasons.
Consignments approved and compliant under the department’s Safeguarding Arrangement Scheme will be subject to random verification to ensure compliance with the scheme requirements. Consignments will be randomly selected upon lodgement of the Formal Import Declaration in the Integrated Cargo System (ICS). Automatic directions will be issued to the lodging customs broker via the departments Agriculture Management Systems (AIMS) indicating if documentation and or inspection is required.
Verification measures include documentation assessment and verification inspection. Consignments that are not subject to random verification will be automatically released from biosecurity control.
Applicants are required to submit their approval letter for document assessment with each eligible import into Australia upon request.
For further information regarding the Safeguarding Arrangements Scheme, please contact the Safeguarding Arrangements team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org