Reform of the biosecurity system

Australia is facing significant and evolving threats posed by exotic pests and diseases across multiple import pathways. These pests and diseases could have devastating effects on agricultural industries, the environment, trade and export market access, our economy and way of life if they were to establish here. At the same time, supply chains are becoming more complex as international trade volumes continue to grow, which places increased pressure on the biosecurity system.

The department is looking at ways to reform the biosecurity system to strengthen our ability to keep out these pests and diseases, while minimising regulatory burden and enabling goods to be moved across the border quickly and efficiently.  

Partnering with industry

The success of our biosecurity system relies on all parties working together collaboratively.  

Partnering with industry and other stakeholders to design, pilot and implement system improvements will  be critical to achieving reform and assuring continued confidence in the management of biosecurity and imported food risks.

As an initial step, the department hosted two roundtables with a broad cross section of the import sector in February 2021 to discuss delays in the delivery of biosecurity services at the border, and potential opportunities for co-designed reform.  Attendees identified a range of quick wins to relieve some immediate pressures, with smaller groups to be established to progress this work. 

Meeting communique and detailed summaries are available below. 


Document Pages File size
Meeting Summary – Biosecurity Import Supply Chain Roundtable – Importers PPTPDF Icon 8 424 KB
Meeting Summary – Biosecurity Import Supply Chain Roundtable – Importers DOCX Word Icon 6 79 KB
Meeting Summary – Biosecurity Import Supply Chain Roundtable – Industry Associations PPTPDF Icon 9 330 KB
Meeting Summary – Biosecurity Import Supply Chain Roundtable – Industry Associations DOCXWord Icon 7 82 KB

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New importer arrangements

The department is looking to trial new  industry arrangements to test end-to-end management of biosecurity risks across importer supply chains. Up to three pilots are proposed and if successful, will lead to more permanent arrangements that will reduce red tape and regulatory costs for pilot participants and other importers. 

For more information on the pilots and the expression of interest process which closed on 28 May 2021.

Last reviewed: 24 May 2021
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