Managing biosecurity risk in imported plants and plant products

Imported plants and their products can introduce exotic and unwanted weeds, pests and diseases into Australia. These can threaten our natural environment, our food security and economy.

We protect Australia’s biosecurity status through education and targeted regulation.

Shared responsibility

We all have a responsibility for protecting Australia’s biosecurity status.

If you import or export goods to or from Australia or operate an approved arrangement, you need to be aware of your responsibilities under Australian law.

See something unusual on your farm or in goods, containers, or parcels? Report it, even if you’re not sure.

Import conditions

We set import conditions to manage the risks associated with plants and plant products imported for:

  • commercial use or sale
  • personal use.

We monitor compliance with the import conditions and take action when necessary to address non-compliance and enforce laws.

Our goal when we set conditions is to achieve Australia’s Appropriate Level of Protection (ALOP). This is a very low level of risk but not zero risk.

We accept a very low level of risk to meet our international obligations to facilitate safe trade.

All plant and plant products we permit for import into Australia along with any conditions we have set for managing the risks are listed in our  Biosecurity Import Conditions (BICON) system.

If you want to import a species that is not permitted, you cannot import the product until: 

Arrival in Australia

On arrival of your goods at Australia’s border, we will check the accompanying documentation, including import permit if required to verify the import conditions have been met.

We may also inspect your consignment depending on the risk it poses for carrying pests and diseases of biosecurity concern.

Once we have checked the paperwork and inspected the consignment, we will either release the goods from biosecurity control or require further action to be taken such as treating the consignment for pests or securing it pending further information or diagnostic results.

Learn more about how we manage your consignment on arrival.

Last reviewed: 14 October 2020
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