58-2016 - Importers of selected vegetable seeds can now use “AQIS commodity code” to become eligible for a reduced inspection trial

28 June 2016

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is for importers of selected vegetable seeds for sowing (as listed in Table 1 below), imported under Tariff Code 1209.91.00: Vegetable seeds, who wish to participate in a trial of a new inspection protocol. The trial will be limited to consignments that do not require on-arrival sampling and purity testing.

Table 1. Listed vegetable seed species eligible for the upcoming reduced inspection trial
GenusListed permitted vegetable seed speciesCommon names
AlliumSpecies listed in BICON as permitted Allium spp. seed for sowingChives
AmaranthusAmaranthus spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingAmaranth
ApiumApium spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingCelery
AsparagusAsparagus spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingAsparagus
BetaBeta spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingBeetroot
BrassicaSpecies listed in BICON as permitted Brassica spp. seed for sowingBok choy
CichoriumCichorium spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingEndive
LactucaLactuca spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingLettuce
OcimumOcimum spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingBasil
RaphanusRaphanus spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingRadish
SolanumSolanum spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingEggplant
SpinaciaSpinacia spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingSpinach

What has changed?

In August 2016 the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will commence a trial of a new inspection protocol on selected vegetable seed imports. The protocol will function similarly to the Compliance Based Inspection Scheme – eligible imports will qualify for reduced inspections once an importer has established a history of compliance by passing a set number of consecutive inspections.

To qualify for the trial, eligible vegetable seed imports must be identified by customs brokers entering a four-digit code (LSTD) into the “AQIS Commodity Code” field when lodging consignments. This code must be used in conjunction with the vegetable seeds tariff code (1209.91.00). This code will be available for use from 28 June 2016.

Consignments lodged using this code prior to the commencement of the trial will contribute to importers’ compliance history when the trial begins in August. All importers who use the code when lodging consignments of listed vegetable seeds will automatically become eligible to participate in the trial.

When and how to use the “AQIS Commodity Code”

From 28 June 2016, a four digit AQIS Commodity Code (LSTD) will be available on customs brokers’ software and should be used when lodging eligible vegetable seeds consignments with the department. By using this code, importers agree to participate in the trial.

Eligibility for the trial is restricted to selected vegetable seeds that:

  • are listed in Table 1 above, and imported under the tariff code 1209.91.00;
  • do not require on-arrival purity testing (International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) testing) - i.e. only seed lots less than 10 kg, and seed lots of 10 kg or more that have met the offshore testing requirements will be eligible for this trial; and
  • are imported through cargo (i.e. not imported through the mail).

Seeds not listed above and not meeting the above criteria will not be eligible. The “AQIS Commodity Code” field should be left blank when lodging consignments of ineligible seeds under this tariff code.

The reduced inspection trial itself will not commence until August 2016. However, importers are encouraged to commence using the designated “AQIS Commodity Code” from 28 June 2016 to build up their compliance history. Only entries lodged with the “LSTD” code will be counted towards compliance history. Although all consignments will still be inspected until the trial begins in August, importers who use the code during this time to establish compliance history may meet the trial’s requirements to qualify for reduced inspections sooner.

The “AQIS Commodity Code” field has not previously been used by the department; however, this field is included in the CMR Software Developers Guide Business Rules, so should be available in custom brokers’ software. Using the code in this pre-trial period will also provide an opportunity to importers and brokers to ensure the code field is functional in their software.

Expected benefits for importers

The reduced inspection trial will reduce the frequency of inspections for consignments of the seeds listed above after an importer has established a sufficient history of compliance by passing a set number of consecutive inspections. Importers who demonstrate a strong record of compliance with Australia’s biosecurity requirements will be rewarded with fewer inspections at the border, saving those importers time and costs associated with the inspection process.

More details of the new inspection protocols for selected vegetable seeds will be released in another Industry Advice notice closer to the trial’s commencement. This will include further details on the trial’s exact commencement date, its duration and the details of how it will operate.

Further information?

For further information, please email Plant Import Operations at Imports or phone 1800 900 090.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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