Australia-New Zealand Biosecurity Cooperation
The Australia-New Zealand Biosecurity Cooperation (ANZBC) is the working name for the the Consultative Group on Biosecurity Cooperation (CGBC). The group was established by Australian and New Zealand ministers in 1999 under the terms of the Australia –New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement.
The ANZBC provides the impetus and direction for harmonising animal and plant health measures affecting trade between the two countries.
Functions of the group were set out in Article 7 of the ‘Protocol on Harmonisation of Quarantine Administrative Procedures to the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations—Trade Agreement’ (1988) and include:
- oversee the work of technical working groups on animal and plant biosecurity on specific tasks within their field of expertise
- appoint additional working groups, or designate project officers, to carry out relevant tasks
- review reports and provide advice on biosecurity matters to Australian and New Zealand ministers.
Implementing this work strengthens the dialogue between the two countries on trans-Tasman biosecurity issues.
The ANZBC has a particular focus on identifying differences in approaches to managing biosecurity risks that impede trade, and harmonising approaches where possible to facilitate trade and travel. To this end, Australia and New Zealand will, where possible;
- recognise each other’s systems to manage biosecurity risk (for example, verification and certification processes) and facilitate trans-Tasman trade
- remove unnecessary trans-Tasman biosecurity controls (for example, requirements for trans-Tasman passengers), and
- implement a consistent approach to biosecurity risk assessment and management of imports from third countries (for example, approaches to managing rabies).
Membership of the ANZBC comprises representatives from the Australian Department of Agriculture and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries.
Three working groups operate under the ANZBC:
- Animal Technical Working Group
- Plant Technical Working Group
- Operational Technical Working Group.
Each group discusses technical and policy issues and reports back to the ANZBC.
The ANZBC meets annually with hosting duties alternating between Australia and New Zealand. The ANZBC is chaired by the head of the relevant hosting agency or its representative.