37-2016 - Changes to import conditions and import permits

​​​​​​25 May 2016

Who does this notice affect?

This notice applies to importers and agents.

With the commencement of the new Biosecurity Act 2015 on 16 June 2016, importers are advised of upcoming changes to import conditions and permits, and reminded of the need for an import permit on the arrival of goods in Australia.  If you intend to import goods into Australia you must comply with the new legislation and read this notice.

What is changing?

Changes to goods requiring an import permit

Some selected goods do not require an import permit if importers can meet specified import conditions in BICON as an alternative to requiring an import permit.

  • The Department has increased the number of selected goods or classes of goods that can enter Australia without an import permit under conditions specified in BICON.
  • Goods affected include selected plant products, animal feed, peat, machinery and tyres, as detailed in the table at the end of this notice and in the attached provisional list of fresh produce.
  • From 16 June, 2016:
    • BICON cases for these selected goods will remove the requirement for an import permit; and
    • Importers of these goods will no longer require an import permit. However you will need to ensure the import conditions and requirements in BICON are met.
  • Prior to 16 June 2016, importers will require an import permit for these goods under the Quarantine Proclamation 1998.

The aim of the new arrangements is to provide a more flexible risk-based approach to compliance which will assist with reducing costs and the regulatory burden to importers.

Goods with changed import conditions

Import conditions have changed for these goods from 16 June 2016:

  • Veterinary therapeutics and medicines; additional biological materials have been added to the list of Approved Ingredients.
  • Cosmetics for animals (e.g. shampoos) will be subject to the same regulatory framework as that applied to veterinary medicines.
  • Mined fertiliser in bags of 100kg or less will require an import permit.

Import conditions

All conditionally non-prohibited goods entering Australia must meet specified import conditions and requirements as detailed in Department’s online Biosecurity Import Conditions system BICON

  • Under the Biosecurity Act 2015 import conditions remain the same for most goods as for the Quarantine Proclamation 1998. 
  • BICON remains the primary source of information on biosecurity import conditions.
  • Importers should check BICON regularly and register to receive alerts about import conditions for their relevant goods.

Import permits

  • Where BICON specifies that an import permit is required, importers must obtain their import permit prior to the goods landing in Australia. 
  • Applications for import permits are made via the Department’s online Biosecurity Import Conditions system BICON.
  • Importers can apply for import permits in advance and post-date it if necessary.

More information

The Biosecurity (Prohibited and Conditio​nally Non-prohibited Goods) Determination 2016 provides specified goods or specified classes of goods that are prohibited or conditionally non-prohibited for the purpose of the Biosecurity Act 2015. The Determination replaces the prohibitions and import permit requirements for imported goods under the Quarantine Proclamation 1998.


Telephone:         1800 900 090
Email:  Import Services Team

Goods no longer requiring an import permit when specified import conditions are met

Used machinery & tyres

  • Used tyres on rims and off rims
  • Used machinery and equipment (other than beekeeping and veterinary equipment)

Animal feeds

  • Retorted (e.g. canned) pet food containing ingredients derived from ruminants that originated from Australia and New Zealand only and that are exported from New Zealand
  • Dead cephalopods - octopus, squid, cuttlefish
  • Cuttlefish bone for pet food use


  • Peat – black peat, peat moss, sphagnum peat moss, white peat
  • Coir peat

Dried plant material

  • Baecka frutescens dried plant material, for use in thatching, fencing and screening, grown in the USA (other than California, Florida or Hawaii) or another country where the pathogen Puccinia psidii (guava or eucalyptus rust) is known not to occur
  • Potpourri

Selected fresh fruit, vegetables, fungi and herbs

Plant products

  • Almond nuts or kernels (Prunus amygdalus or P. dulcis) for human consumption
  • Chestnuts (Castanea spp.) grown and produced in New Zealand for human consumption
  • Corn or maize grits grown and produced in New Zealand for processing
  • Dried hops (Humulus lupulus) grown and produced in New Zealand for processing
  • Green coffee beans for processing
  • Kibbled cereal mix grown and produced in New Zealand for human consumption
  • Gulong tribute rice/millet for human consumption

Semi-processed plant products

  • Onions or shallot bulbs grown and produced in China for human consumption
  • Pineapples grown and produced in Bolivia or Brazil for human consumption
  • Garlic grown and produced in China for human consumption
  • Pomelo as chilled pulp or segments grown and produced in Thailand for human consumption
  • Durian as chilled pulp or segments grown and produced in Malaysia or Thailand for human consumption.
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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