Australia's biosecurity policy is based on the assessment and management of pest and disease risk to human, animal and plant health and the environment. The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment manages the risk associated with imported products in various ways.
The importation of some products is, by law, subject to certain conditions, outlined in the department's Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON). Some products have been assessed as posing significant risk and are not allowed entry into Australia. Other products are only allowed into Australia upon the granting of an import permit from the department.
Before submitting an import permit application, it is recommended that you check the import requirements for your commodity on BICON. You can save time and money by checking BICON to determine if an import permit is required or to see if there is specific information that you should include with your import permit application form. Tips on how to search the system effectively can be found by clicking the 'help' button at the top of the BICON homepage.
An import permit may be obtained by submitting an application for permit to import biosecurity risk material to the department. The department will assess the application and on the basis of that assessment may decide to grant an import permit subject to any conditions deemed necessary for safe importation, use and disposal of those products.
The department advises against exporting products requiring a permit to Australia until a valid import permit is held. Permit conditions often require government certification which generally cannot be obtained once the goods have left the country of export. Goods which are imported without a valid import permit, or which cannot meet Australian import permit conditions, must be re-exported or destroyed at the importers expense.
It should be noted that applying for an import permit does not automatically result in an import permit being issued. The Director of Biosecurity or their delegate issues the import permit. You should ensure that an application is submitted for each product type and that the prescribed fee accompanies the import permit application.Please refer to the department’s charging guidelines for information on import clearance fees and charges.