Level 1 gold supply chains

The Department of Agriculture is responsible for reducing the risk of exotic pests or diseases entering the country that may harm Australia’s unique environment, agricultural and horticultural industries.

To assist the fertiliser industry comply with Australia’s strict import requirements, the department and Fertilizer Australia have developed a set of standards to streamline biosecurity inspection processes and requirements. These standards are reflected in our Imported Inorganic Bulk Cargo Fertiliser Assessment and Management Policy.

To acknowledge industry best practice systems, the department has launched the Level 1 gold supply chains for companies that are assessed by the department as meeting the standard outlined below.

Level 1 gold supply chains

For Level 1 supply chains that are considered by the department to be very low risk due to a long-term history of compliance, a status of Level 1 Gold may apply.

To be eligible for Gold status, Level 1 must have already been achieved by the supplier, and already be considered low-risk by the department.  However, before the supply-chain can be considered for Gold status the following application requirements must be met:

  • show capability to meet biosecurity requirements in at least two audits conducted by department authorised auditors; and
  • meet all Level 1 requirements for annual supply chain audits; and
  • complete at least 10 consignments over within a five year period; and
  • have zero detections of biosecurity risk within those consignments.

More information on level 1 gold level supply chains can be found in the imported bulk cargo fertiliser assessment and management policies.

The other available risk management strategies are:

Level 1: Low risk consignment

The benefits for achieving the Level 1 standard are:

  • minimal intervention by the department at the border
  • on arrival, the cargo hold does not need to be inspected therefore the discharge of goods can commence at any time of the day or night.

To achieve Level 1, companies must implement the department recognised contamination management strategies across their supply chain, from the point of manufacture through to and including the vessel’s voyage.

Level 1 requirements are:

For a consignment to be classified as a Level 1, a number of contamination management strategies must be in place across the supply chain from the point of manufacture through to and including the container inspection, certification and loading.

The contamination management strategies set out in this policy for Level 1 risk classification are recognised by the department as best practice principles that provide high level confidence in the biosecurity integrity of the consignment.  Details of the requirements for a Level 1 consignment are provided below.

Details of the requirements for a Level 1 consignment are:

  • All requirements of a Level 2 consignment must be met;
  • Each consignment must be accompanied by a Manufacturer’s Declaration;
  • Each consignment must be accompanied by a ‘Sampling Declaration’, which can be issued as part of the manufacturers declaration
  • the supply chain has been audited by a third party annually;
  • the supply chain audit has been performed by a departmental biosecurity officer, or a new department authorised auditor every third year;
  • container inspection reports must be completed and retained for auditing purposes.

Level 2: Medium risk consignment

The inspection process for Level 2:

  • medium level of intervention at the border
  • the vessel’s hold requires inspection
  • inspections must occur during daylight hours
  • discharge cannot commence until holds have passed inspection.

To achieve Level 2:

  • manufacturing facilities and load port have been audited by the department, or a department authorised auditor (at least every three years); and
  • manufacturer declaration provided for each consignment.

Level 3: High risk consignment

For a consignment to be classified as a Level 3, one or more of the components of the supply chain, including manufacturing and load port facilities, do not provide sufficient evidence of contamination control.  Level 3, or high-risk goods are cleared on a consignment by consignment basis. See also


Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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