Working with the import cargo and shipping industry
What is biosecurity?
Biosecurity protects Australia’s plant, animal and human health by reducing the risk of unwanted pests and diseases arriving and establishing in the country. We need to balance the need to manage biosecurity risk with the responsibility to facilitate trade and the movement of people and goods to, from and within Australia.
Working with industry
The department is continuing to improve the way we engage and consult with industry to address needs across the cargo and shipping industry sectors. You may notice a number of changes taking place.
The Cargo Consultative Committee will continue to provide advice on national strategic issues. The aim of the committee is to work together to deliver effective biosecurity outcomes without impeding trade. A network of key biosecurity managers has also been established to coordinate and improve engagement with stakeholders. Local issues will be responded to more quickly with national support where needed. Department biosecurity officers will identify and address issues quickly by learning more about your business and how the department's processes will impact you.
Benefits to industry
A risk-based approach provides significant benefits to industry. The potential for reduced intervention based on good compliance means reduced audit rates and inspections for shipping vessels and air and sea containers.
Risk based intervention
We are working to ensure that resources and efforts are deployed to the highest risk areas – to the things that matter most. This risk based approach includes working in partnership with industry to achieve integrated risk management offshore, onshore and at the border. Risk assessments are based on robust and contemporary science and consider a broad range of risk factors – the goods themselves, the pathway into Australia and the stakeholders involved in importing these goods. This allows appropriate recognition and reward for good biosecurity compliance, such as reduced intervention.
Further changes will be taking place incrementally and collaboratively as we continue to deliver Australia’s world-class biosecurity system. We will keep you informed of planned improvements including: documentation reforms and the development of electronic government to government certification implementation of BICON – Biosecurity Import Conditions, a more efficient and effective import permit system, and modern legislation creating a simpler and more user friendly legislative framework.
The department provides important information via regular import clearance industry advice notices. Subscribe to receive these updates.
If you would like to provide feedback or discuss any issues with us please contact your local office.
Adelaide (South West)
Phone: +61 8 8201 6000
Brisbane (North East)
Phone: +61 7 3246 8755
Canberra (Central Office)
Phone: +61 2 6272 3933
Phone: +61 8 8920 7000
Melbourne (South East)
Phone: +61 3 8318 6700
Perth (South West)
Phone: +61 8 9334 1555
Sydney (Central East)
Phone: +61 2 8334 7444
General inquiries – 1800 020 504
To confidentially report a suspected biosecurity breach call the Biosecurity Redline on:
1800 803 006