Industry Advice Notice no. 2006/42: Options for dealing with the detection of prohibited weed seeds in bulk prescribed goods

​Date issued - 19.10.06

This Industry Advice Notice is to advise industry of the options available to exporters upon the detection of prohibited weed seeds in bulk (not bagged) prescribed goods during inspection whilst loading into a ship’s hold.

This notice applies to those prescribed goods that are: 

  • ‘prescribed grains’, other grains, pulses, other seeds, wood chips and stockfeeds; and
  • being loaded into a ship’s hold for export through bulk terminals that are registered with AQIS for that purpose.

Upon inspection of the prescribed goods, the approved inspector must be satisfied that the prescribed goods comply with the importing country conditions and restrictions in relation to all regulated articles. This includes freedom from prohibited weed seeds. If weed seeds that are suspected to be prohibited are detected in a sample drawn from the consignment:

a) loading of that product shall cease immediately from the source lot/bin/silo pending corrective action

b) AQIS will advise the exporter of the detection and the options available for corrective action

c) the exporter will advise AQIS in writing of the proposed corrective action to be taken. 

The following options for corrective action are available to the exporter: 

a) 50 tonne run-off – the exporter may elect for a 50-tonne run-off (as a form of rejection for that 50 tonne) to remove the contaminated prescribed goods from export. This option may only be applied if loading ceases immediately (without undue delay) upon detection of a suspect weed seed. Loading may recommence after the 50-tonne run-off. A maximum of five 50 tonne runoffs per source lot/bin/silo may be permitted. Each 50 tonne run-off will be formally rejected for export until either corrective action is applied to the goods to remove the contaminant weed seed, or formal identification indicates the suspect weed seed is not a prohibited species;

b) identification of the weed seed – rejection of the source lot/bin/silo pending identification of the suspect weed seed by either an International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) or state government agency accredited laboratory. Identification must be sufficient to enable the exclusion of the suspect weed seed as being a species prohibited by the importing country before loading can recommence from that source lot/bin/silo;

c) rejection of the remaining prescribed goods in the handling system from that source lot/bin/silo. This option will be applied in the absence of advice from the exporter on the management of the contamination and when no subsequent corrective action is taken to remove the suspect contaminant from the commodity;

d) corrective action - cleaning of the remaining prescribed goods from that source lot/bin/silo to remove the weed seeds. The prescribed goods are not to be re-presented for export to that destination unless appropriate corrective action has been taken and certification attesting to such action has been provided to an approved inspector;

e) redirect the prescribed goods to an alternative overseas destination that does not restrict the entry of the weed seed or return the prescribed goods to the domestic market.

Note: These options may not apply where the importing country has defined specific management procedures for prohibited weed seeds. The exporter must advise AQIS in writing of the proposed action to be taken.

Leanne Payne 
A/g Program Manager 
Grain and Plant Products Exports 

Contact Officers: Dave Ryan
Telephone: 02 6272 4976
Facsimile: 02 6272 3745

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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