110-2017 - Import Documentation requirements

23 November 2017

Who does this notice affect?

All clients who submit documentation to the department for import assessment via the Cargo Online Lodgement System (COLS) or other departmental approved systems.

What has changed?

The Department would like to advise clients of information that may assist in avoiding unnecessary delays in the clearance of goods:

Ensure that you are aware of relevant import requirements

The following information may assist in identifying the relevant requirements:

  •  The Import home page provides general information about Biosecurity and Imported Food requirements
  •  BICON is the departments import conditions database, and will provide you with the relevant pre and post border requirements. 
  • The Documentary requirements for import web page provides information about the departments documentary requirements.

Note: If you are unsure of the specific requirements, please contact the department on 1800 900 090 and follow the correct options to reach the relevant section to assist with entry processing matters or email Imports.

Tips to reduce potential delays in processing

The following tips may assist in reducing delays in entry processing:

  • Ensure that documents and other information relating to the consignment are lodged through approved systems and processes within a timely manner prior to goods landing.
  • Ensure that all documents required to assess your consignment are submitted in the first instance and are in line with the department’s documentary requirements and import conditions.
  • Do not provide unnecessary documents, as this can result in longer assessment times.
  • Ensure any specific additional information is included in the “additional Information” field in COLS.
  • Regardless of the expected assessment outcome, nominate a valid Approved Arrangement (AA) inspection location, preferably with the AA registration number and name, to avoid additional processing delays.
  • Email the Department’s Client Contact Group (CCG) to request an inspection once goods have arrived at your nominated AA and you have received your inspection direction/s from the department.

Additional information for Imported Food consignments

The following information may assist in understanding Imported Food requirements:

  • The department requires Imported Food inspections to be booked upon receipt of the Food Control Certificate and availability of goods.
  • Consignment specific information such as lot or can codes must be presented at time of processing.
  • Laboratory Nominations must be submitted and accepted prior to booking any Imported Food inspections.
  • Once a booking has been confirmed, the following information must be available at the nominated inspection premises at the time of inspection:
    • All relevant documents to the inspection (e.g. invoices, packing lists, line identification and, additionally for Imported Foods Inspections, lot or can codes as well as a copy of the Food Control Certificate) must be available in hardcopy.
    • All goods identified in the INSPECTION or INSPECTION & ANALYSIS REQUIRED section of the Food Control Certificate must be fully unpacked and available for inspection.
    • The importer or agent should be present at the time of inspection to assist in consignment identification and obtaining samples (if required).
    • Failure to comply with the above points may result in the inspection being cancelled.

Further information

Please contact the department on 1800 900 090 or email Imports.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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