23 April 2021
Who does this notice affect?
All clients who submit import permit applications to the department for assessment via the Australian Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).
What has changed?
In recent months, importers may have experienced longer than usual timeframes in the processing of import permit applications. This is due to an increasing volume of permit applications being received. Whilst the Biosecurity Act provides up to 123 days to assess permit applications, the department in practice aims to assess 90% in 20 business days. At present the assessment timeframe is approximately five to seven weeks per application.
What are we doing to manage the increased workloads?
The department has put various measures in place to manage the workload, including reallocating resources to import permit application assessments. Note, these new measures will take time to have an effect on assessment times.
The department will work with importers and consider prioritising applications, or extending an existing permit’s expiry date, where exceptional circumstances apply (for example, goods are for urgent medical use or part of an emergency response). If a permit applicant believes they have an exceptional circumstance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide details of the situation and supporting evidence to substantiate the request.
How can you help minimise potential assessment delays?
1. Know your import requirements prior to applying for an import permit
The following information will assist in identifying the relevant import requirements prior to applying for an import permit:
- The departments Import home page provides general information about Biosecurity and Imported Food requirements.
- BICON is the departments import conditions database and will provide you with the relevant pre and post border requirements.
- The Documentary requirements for import web page provides information about the departments minimum documentary and import declaration requirements policy.
2. Applying for an import permit
- When submitting a new import permit application in BICON, ensure all required information is provided.
- All information supplied in support of the import permit application must meet the department’s minimum documentary and import declaration requirements policy. Often delays occur because documents provided do not meet these requirements.
- Where possible, submit import permit applications early. We recommend applying up to three months in advance of when you need the permit.
Thank you for your understanding and ongoing cooperation.