Wooden articles import permit

​​​​​​​​​​Wooden manufactured articles and laminated veneer products and articles (such as plywood and LVL) can present a range of biosecurity risks. The department’s Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) outlines the standard import conditions for wooden manufactured articles and laminated veneer products/articles. These standard conditions include a requirement for timber to be treated in accordance with one of the acceptable treatment methods before, during or after the manufacturing processes. For most treatment methods, treatments must be conducted within a specified timeframe of export. Products that meet these standard import conditions present a low level of biosecurity risks and do not require a wooden article permit (WAP) or any other import permit.

If a product does not meet the treatment requirements outlined in the standard import conditions in BICON but the importer can demonstrate that the product presents an equivalently low level of biosecurity risk the importer may apply for a WAP. This risk level may be achieved though manufacturing and handling processes.

​Products eligible for W​​APs

Products that are eligible for this consideration for a WAP are:
  • Wooden manufactured articles
  • Laminated veneer products and articles (including plywood and LVL)
  • Wooden or plywood components of articles which also contain other materials

To apply for a WAP, importers must demonstrate that the products they wish to import have been manufactured and handled in a way that mitigates the biosecurity risks associated with the product. This may be through a combination of several measures such as treatments, production and handling practices. The treatment and hygiene guidelines below outline how biosecurity concerns may be adequately addressed.

The department will grant a permit if satisfied that the biosecurity risks associated with the products have been reduced to acceptably low levels.

Products not eligible for WAPs

Wooden manufactured articles and laminated veneer products and articles that cannot demonstrate that they present a sufficiently low biosecurity risk are not eligible for a WAP. These products must undergo additional treatment either offshore (as per the standard conditions) or on arrival in Australia, to adequately address biosecurity risks.

Additionally, wooden and related products that do not come under the wooden manufactured articles or veneer products and articles BICON cases are not eligible for WAPs because they present different levels of biosecurity risks.

The following wooden and related products are not eligible for WAPs and always require standard import permits:

Wooden and related products that are not eligible for WAPS and do not require any other import permit because their manufacturing or use ensures minimal biosecurity risks are presented include:

WAP Application process

Import permit applications can be made by the importer, or by a customs broker or supplier on behalf of the importer. Importer, supplier and manufacturer’s details must be provided.

Follow this process to apply for a WAP:

  • Check whether the product meets standard import conditions on BICON and, if not, whether a WAP is an option for the product.
  • Check whether the product meets the WAP requirements: check the treatment and hygiene guidelines (below) to ensure the product meets the department’s standards for manufacturing and handling processes to mitigate biosecurity risk.
  • Complete and sign a WAP questionnaire and attach it to the import permit application.
    Wooden article permit questionnairePDF Icon PDF [548 KB]
    Wooden article permit questionnaire msword icon Word [150 KB]
  • Complete a WAP application using BICON:
    1. search for the relevant case and answer the import scenario questions,
    2. check the import conditions and click on the ‘Apply now’ butt​on at the bottom of the page,
    3. complete the application questions and attach the completed WAP questionnaire, and
    4. pay the import permit application and assessment fees and submit the application.
    If you have issues completing an online application contact the Import Services Team:
    Phone: 1800 900 090
    Email: Imports
  • Your WAP application will be assessed. If the department is satisfied that the product meets the standards set out in the treatment and hygiene guidelines and that biosecurity risks have been adequately addressed, an import permit will generally be issued within 20 business days of all required information being received.

Monitoring compliance with permit conditions

Once a WAP has been issued, most consignments imported using that permit will not be intercepted at the border by the department. However a percentage of these consignments (usually 5%) will be selected at random for documentation assessment and verification inspection in order for the department to monitor that import conditions are complied with.

The department may also request additional information and documentation at any time while the permit is valid to verify that the manufacturing and handling processes remain compliant with the department’s requirements.

Importers’ responsibilities

WAPs are valid for 2 years, subject to compliance with the conditions stated on the import permit. It is the importers responsibility to:

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Ensure all consignments comply with the conditions stated on the WAP

All consignments must comply with the conditions stated on the WAP. Non-compliances may result in the permit being revoked.

Ensure all consignments are accompanied by the necessary documentation

The importer, or broker acting on the importer’s behalf, must ensure that every consignment is accompanied by all necessary documentation. The following documents are required:

  • A valid WAP or a means to identify the WAP.
  • Commercial documents including bill of lading, airway bill and commercial invoice.
  • Any documentation specified in the WAP.
  • Any documentation required for other components of the goods (as per BICON).

Missing documentation will result in goods becoming subject to treatment or a full unpack inspection.

Notify the department of any changes to the details of the product, manufacturer, supplier or importer

For WAPs that are valid and intended for continued use, it is the importer’s responsibility (or broker, acting on behalf of the importer) to notify the department of changes to the production details, importer, supplier or manufacturer information that were provided on the original WAP application. The table below outlines the activities that the importer must undertake to make different types of changes.  

Type of changeImporter’s responsibilities
Change to importer details, including name, ABN, address details and point of contact.
  • Update contact details in BICON account (see help menu in BICON for instructions) and
  • If required, request permit variation through BICON (see help menu in BICON for instructions)
Change to supplier/exporter details, including name, supplier Customs Client ID code and address details.
  • Update contact details in BICON account (see help menu in BICON for instructions) and
  • If required, request permit variation through BICON (see help menu in BICON for instructions)
Change in the manufacturing process of the product.
  • Request permit variation through BICON (see help menu in BICON for instructions)

Note: additional  fees will apply

Add another product to the import permit.
  • Request permit variation through BICON (see help menu in BICON for instructions)

Note: additional  fees will apply

Failure to notify the department of such changes may result in the permit being suspended or revoked.

Treatment and hygiene guidelines

These treatment and hygiene guidelines can be used to understand if the product meets the department’s standards for manufacturing and handling processes to mitigate biosecurity risk.

Section 1: Overarching requirements for products assessed

Requirements Further information
  • All products must undergo treatments to mitigate infestation from pest and diseases.
  • Non-standard processing and /or treatment details (those not already covered in BICON) will be assessed to ensure the biosecurity risk has been reduced to an acceptably low level.
  • The import requirements in BICON outline the phytosanitary measures that need to be met to reduce the biosecurity risk levels to acceptably low.
  • Please refer to BICON for a list of the current import requirements. The requirements are used as a baseline for setting biosecurity treatment standards.
  • The department's Biosecurity Risk Treatment Guide may also be of assistance.
  • The presence of bark on timber allows some timber pests to reproduce and promotes reinfestation. To ensure that goods remain pest free after a treatment the bark should be removed prior to treatment.
  • Documentation must be provided detailing treatment /s and processing of the product and post manufacturing hygiene conditions.
  • Refer to section 3: Hygiene requirements.
  • Process flow charts, timelines and photographs of the manufacturing process assist in the assessment process.
  • Quality assurance systems demonstrate hygiene measures are in place to mitigate pest and disease risks.
  • Where an auditable standard (international or national) exists in the manufacturing process this information should be included in the application.
  • Treatment and phytosanitary certificates assist in the assessment process.

Section 2. Manufacturing and treatment guidelines

Requirements Further information
Solid wood
  • Risk mitigation treatments for products made from solid wood.
  • Biosecurity risks associated with imported solid wood products are lowered by the manufacturing processes they undergo. However, they may still contain timber borers, insect pests, disease and bark through inadequately applied treatments or through non-secure storage.
  • Products that exceed 200mm in each dimension are considered to be oversize timber and require mandatory treatment in Australia. Please refer to BICON for ‘timber oversize – not for processing’ for import conditions.

Plywood and veneer

  • Risk mitigation treatments for products made from plywood and veneer.
  • Individual veneer thickness must not exceed 5 mm.
  • Veneers must be peeled from bark free logs.
  • Finished product must have a moisture content of less than 15%.
  • Plywood is a natural wood product and can attract timber pests if stored in an environment that favours pests.
  • Plywood and substrates used for veneer have the capacity to absorb moisture and this may encourage infestation by pests.

 Section 3: Hygiene requirements

This section outlines the requirements in which raw materials and finished products must be stored and packaged prior to shipment to Australia to prevent contamination by hitchhiker pests and other biosecurity risk material.

Mandatory  Further information
  • An effective pest control program must be in place.
  • Insect activity may be monitored using traps and inspection. Records of pest control activities should be kept.
  • Products/material must be secured to minimise exposure to insects.
  • Products may be secured by shrink-wrapping, covering with plastic sheeting, loading into an enclosed vehicle, or any other means that will restrict the potential infestation from insect pests.
  • Where material / goods are stored with other goods evidence must be provided to show how cross contamination is prevented.
  • Treated products/material must be stored in dry areas and on a well maintained sealed surface as this minimises the risk of exposure to insects and other pests.
  • Cross contamination can be minimised by:
    • Storing treated material / goods separately from other goods and materials
    • Isolating treated products/material from non-accredited (off cuts or waste material) products
  • Where raw material or finished products are stored on bearers or pallets made from wood, these bearers and pallets must be ISPM 15 compliant.
  • ISPM 15 is the 'International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures​ Publication No. 15 (2009): Regulation of Wood Packaging Material in International Trade'. ISPM 15 was developed to address the global spread of timber pests by regulating the movement of timber packaging and dunnage in international trade.
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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