2020-21 Safeguarding Arrangements Scheme
As part of the 2020-21 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) seasonal measures, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department) has made a Safeguarding Arrangements Scheme available to industry stakeholders/importers. The Safeguarding Arrangements Scheme (the scheme) provides an alternate clearance pathway for goods imported as sea cargo during the BMSB risk season. It also provides recognition of the ability of approved participants to manage seasonal hitchhiker pest risk offshore, from the point of manufacture to the point of embarkation (point of export) to Australia in line with eligibility criteria.
Safeguarding Arrangements will only be considered for offshore supply chains* that also meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Goods imported into Australia by a single importing entity that has a valid Australian Company Number (ACN) and/or Australian Business Number (ABN), AND;
- Goods transported as break bulk cargo, including those shipped on flat rack and in open top containers, with a minimum import volume of 5000 vehicles/units per supply chain during the BMSB season, AND/OR;
- Goods transported as Full Container Load (FCL) or Full Container Consolidated (FCX) cargo with the following minimum import volumes per supply chain during the BMSB season:
- 50 x Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) containers, AND/OR;
- 25 x Forty-Foot Equivalent Unit (FEU) containers.
*An offshore supply chain includes all offshore sites from the initial point of manufacture to the point of embarkation (export) to Australia and is identified by a single Supplier ID. Supply chains may potentially include manufacturing / storage sites located in different countries where goods undergo further processing and / or storage prior to embarkation. Applications which include these types of supply chains will need to clearly outline the movement of goods from the initial point of manufacture, through intermediate sites / countries to the point at which the goods embark en route to Australia.
Safeguarding Arrangements will not be considered for:
- Onshore supply chains or sites located in Australia, AND/OR;
- Goods transported in Less than Container Load (LCL) and Freight of All Kinds (FAK) containers, AND/OR;
- Goods that have ‘many-to-many’ supply chains, such as those encompassing goods obtained from multiple suppliers to multiple importers, AND/OR;
- Where arrangements are already in place to manage biosecurity risks including, but not limited to, Asian Gypsy Moth, Burnt Pine Longicorn or Giant African Snail.
The scheme provides a shared approach between government and industry in the management of seasonal hitchhiker pest risk and offers many benefits, including:
- Opportunity for participants to implement systems to manage seasonal hitchhiker pest risk, including BMSB.
- Reduction of biosecurity risks and risk-management costs associated with seasonal hitchhiker pests.
- Recognition of offshore quality assurance procedures implemented by participants.
- Potential to reduce clearance delays at the border with reduced intervention through recognition of approved offshore Safeguarding systems.
- Increased level of confidence by the department in the integrity of goods arriving at the border.
How to apply
In order to apply for the scheme, please download the Safeguarding Arrangements Application Form from the Downloads section below. Applications and supporting documentation must be provided electronically via email to the Safeguarding Arrangements team.
Please note that the department is unable to receive emails with attachments that exceed a total size of 20MB. If your application includes individual files that exceed 20MB, or if you are experiencing issues when attempting to submit your application, please contact the Safeguarding Arrangements team.
Applications submitted on the 2019-20 version of the application form will be unable to be assessed and will need to be resubmitted using the 2020-21 application form.
Preparing your application
To assist you in preparing your supporting documentation, the department has developed a range of reference materials which are located in the Downloads section below. These documents include a biosecurity and seasonal hitchhiker pest contamination guide, risk mitigation plan template, and contingency plan template. The reference material covers the identification of different types of biosecurity risk material, considerations for mitigating biosecurity and seasonal hitchhiker pest risk, and the development of contingency plans to address potential instances of contamination from biosecurity risk material.
As part of an application for the scheme, applicants must demonstrate (with documentary evidence) that the sites in the company’s offshore supply chains are actively mitigating seasonal hitchhiker pest risk, and have adequate contingency plans in place to ensure they are capable of responding to potential instances of contamination from seasonal hitchhiker pests.
Some types of evidence prospective applicants may wish to consider could include:
- Evidence of storage conditions and/or packaging that prevent the ingress of contaminants such as seasonal hitchhiker pests;
- BMSB baits/traps;
- Pest inspections/treatments – evidence may include receipts/reports from past inspections that include the areas inspections/treatments were conducted and types of treatments being applied;
- Detailed inspection procedures for goods for the presence of seasonal hitchhiker pests, and;
- Contingency plans that outline:
- How companies will isolate/remove potential instances of seasonal hitchhiker pest contamination;
- If pest inspectors will be engaged to assist with the contamination removal;
- How surrounding areas and goods will be inspected to ensure that further contaminations have not occurred and if so, how these will be managed, and;
- How further instances of contamination will be prevented.
Prospective applicants may also wish to provide photos/images to support any documentary evidence supplied as part of their application.
Please note: During the 2020-21 BMSB risk season period (1 September 2020 – 31 May 2021 inclusive), approved participants of the scheme will be required to conduct at least one (1) audit per approved offshore supply chain, and to provide the associated audit report(s) to the department for review.
Audit reports supplied to the department must demonstrate that the approved offshore supply chains are compliant with their Safeguarding Arrangement. It is expected that the person(s) conducting the audit(s) will observe staff performing/adhering to each of the processes and procedures outlined in the entity’s application for a Safeguarding Arrangement.
The department will allow for the audit(s) to be conducted by persons who are either internal or external to the approved entity. The associated audit report(s) must be completed on the company letterhead, include the details of the person(s) who completed the audit report(s), and the date(s)/time(s) the audit report(s) were initiated/completed. Images/photos can also be supplied to the department to support the information included in the audit report(s).
Failure to provide audit report(s) to the department will result in suspension of that entity from the scheme until an audit report is provided and that it shows the entity meets their agreement(s) under the scheme. The provision of audit report(s) that demonstrate non-compliance with the approved Safeguarding Arrangement may result in increased levels of intervention or may also result in the suspension of that entity from the scheme.
The department will not approve an application for a Safeguarding Arrangement where the prospective applicant has indicated that they will be unable to conduct and/or provide the results of their Safeguarding Arrangement audit(s) to the department.
When do safeguarding arrangements apply?
The scheme will be in effect during the 2020-21 BMSB risk season for goods considered target high risk and manufactured in, or shipped from target risk countries from 1 September 2020 to 30 April 2021 (inclusive) and that arrive in Australian territory by 31 May 2021 (inclusive).
The Safeguarding Arrangement will only apply to approved entities for specified tariffs and supply chains that have been assessed and recognised as part of the application and approval process.
Fees and charges
Currently there are no application or ongoing fees associated with the scheme.
Approved participants may incur a charge in the instance that the department is required to undertake an audit of offshore supply chains/facilities due to non-compliance with the scheme.
For further information regarding the Safeguarding Arrangements Scheme, please contact the Safeguarding Arrangements team via email at email@example.com
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