15-2019 - Interim measures for goods treated with sulfuryl fluoride fumigation

5 February 2019

Who does this notice affect?

Stakeholders in the import and shipping industries—including freight forwarders, treatment providers, Biosecurity Industry Participants, importers, customs brokers, licensed fumigators and principle agents associated with containers and unpacking of goods that require biosecurity intervention.

What has changed?

A review of current WHS measures has resulted in an interim measure relating to consignments that have been treated with sulfuryl fluoride and require the following biosecurity inspection:

  • seals intact
  • supervised unpack
  • tailgate inspection

These measures do not apply to:

  • break-bulk
  • machinery
  • containerised goods deconsolidated by an AA operator without a biosecurity officer present

Industry will be responsible for arranging a third- party sulfuryl fluoride detection and monitoring operator (SF operator) to be present at the biosecurity inspection to monitor for sulfuryl fluoride as follows:

If the presence of sulfuryl fluoride...Then...
is 3ppm or less
  • the SF operator issues a gas-free certificate
  • the Biosecurity officer can approach to undertake the inspection.
is greater than 3ppm
  • the container or goods must be allowed to vent before a subsequent reading is taken by the SF operator

On initial assessment of documents for containers/goods fumigated with sulfuryl fluoride the department will apply the following direction comments:

  • Industry to request a to-meet biosecurity inspection appointment.
  • Industry to arrange an approved third party sulfuryl fluoride detection provider to be present at the biosecurity inspection.

The Sulfuryl Fluoride Register lists providers who are approved to conduct sulfuryl fluoride detection and monitoring services during biosecurity inspection.

All costs associated with the third party sulfuryl fluoride detection provider are the responsibility of the industry and the SF provider must invoice industry directly.

Importers shipping consignments to Australia should ensure their stakeholders are aware of the above requirements prior to shipping.

Under the Biosecurity Charges Imposition (General) Regulation 2016 and the Biosecurity Regulation 2016, fees are payable to the department for all services. Details on how the department applies fees and levies can be found in the charging guidelines.

Please note this in an interim process only until further notice.

Further information

Providers listed in the Sulfuryl Fluoride Register meet the following criteria:

  • The ability to provide a current calibration certificate for the sulfuryl fluoride device they will use.
  • Confirmation (via brochure or operators manual) that the device will read sulfuryl fluoride to 3PPM in 1PPM increments.
  • Qualifications relevant to their interaction and awareness of sulfuryl fluoride, and their capacity to operate the sulfuryl fluoride device.
  • Provide certification that the presence of sulfuryl fluoride is 3PPM or less.

Providers wanting to be listed on the Sulfuryl Fluoride Register should contact Sulfuryl Fluoride

For more information visit Sulfuryl fluoride detection and monitoring providers webpage.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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