Cleanliness requirements for imported machinery, equipment and spare parts

​​​Machinery not meeting the acceptable cleanliness standards of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources may not be permitted entry into Australia. It is the importer’s responsibility to ensure all machinery arrives in Australia free from biosecurity risk material, such as soil, seeds, plant and animal materials.

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New machinery

New machinery is often contaminated through poor loading or by being field tested before shipment to Australia. The following images are examples of new machinery loaded in wet, muddy conditions which meant the consignment needed to be treated upon arrival.

Machinery can also become contaminated by plant and animal materials, such as seeds and birds’ nests, if it is stored outside prior to shipment. To prevent delays and to reduce costs, ensure all machinery is stored and loaded in clean conditions to prevent contamination.

Field or factory tested machinery

All machinery that is field tested or factory trialled where soil, animal or plant material has been introduced or has come into contact with the machine is considered by the department to be used.

Used earthmoving machinery

All used machinery is required to enter Australia free from biosecurity risk material. Clean machinery and parts will be characterised by a comprehensive cleaning process. All possible sites of contamination must be cleaned. This may require partial or full dismantling of machinery.

Machinery with low level contamination on arrival will be subject to additional cleaning at an a pproved a rrangement site. Heavily contaminated machinery may be directed for export from Australia at the owner or importer’s expense.

View an earthmoving truck being thoroughly inspected for low- level contamination. Welded plates are examined for soil (Figure 5) and crevasses (Figure 6) where soil can lodge.

Used earthmoving scraper

View examples of machinery with high level contamination. High level contamination is indicated by large amounts of soil, seeds, plant and animal material on the machinery and spare parts.

Used earthmoving loader

View examples of a used earthmoving loader:

Used agricultural machinery

Used processing machinery

Used processing machinery in contact with soil, animal or plant material is required to be free from biosecurity risk material on arrival in Australia.

View examples of used wool processing machines cleaned offshore to ensure the machines arrived in Australia in a clean state:


Animal material: Any material that originates from, or is produced by, a living animal including hair, fur, skin, faeces, shell, blood and fluids, feathers, honey, flesh and bone.

Contamination: Any soil, plant or animal material located on the machinery.

Dismantled: All designated parts are removed from the machinery to facilitate the inspection of hollow or concealed sections.

New machinery: Any recently manufactured and/or assembled parts that are taken from the factory floor and transported without exposure to conditions that may lead to contamination. Conditions that may lead to contamination include field testing and extended storage in areas exposed to the environment.

Plant material: Any material that originates from, or is produced by, a plant including pollen, spores, flowers, seeds, gum, leaves, branches, roots, stems, bark, wood and fruits.

Biosecurity risk material (BRM): The presence of material of biosecurity concern, including seeds, soil, grain, plant and animal material.

Used machinery: Includes used, second-hand machinery and new machinery that has been field tested or factory trialled where soil, animal or plant material has been introduced or has come into contact with the machinery. All used machinery must be declared to the department and be inspected for biosecurity risk material.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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