149-2020 - Cancellation of departmental audits associated with recognised offshore fertiliser supply chains

September 2020

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is of interest to offshore entities who have Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment recognised fertiliser supply chains.


The COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions has impacted the ability of the department to conduct offshore audits associated with the Bulk Cargo and Containerised Fertiliser Assessment and Management Policies.

What has changed?

All offshore departmental-led audits will be cancelled for the remainder of 2020 due to COVID-19.

To ensure confidence remains in each of the supply chains, an independent third-party audit will need to be scheduled in lieu of the departmental audit and audit outcomes provided to the department for assessment.

The independent third-party audit should be scheduled as close as possible to the departmental-led audit due date, but no later than three months after the due date. For supply chains where the departmental-led audit date has passed, the independent third-party audits should be undertaken as soon as possible.

The definition of ‘independent third-party auditor’ will be drawn from the fertiliser policies (page 6 in both the Bulk Cargo and Containerised policy document).

Audit and Assurance Group within the department will liaise with fertiliser supply chains sponsors shortly regarding the due date of their independent audit.

If supply chains are unable to source an appropriately qualified independent third-party auditor, Sea Cargo, via airandseacargo@awe.gov.au, should be engaged as soon as practicable to assist in resolving the issue. If no resolution can be achieved, other options to maintain confidence in the supply chain, such as increased onshore intervention, may be available.

Further information

For additional information, please contact Sea Cargo Policy at airandseacargo@awe.gov.au or phone 1800 900 090.

Fertiliser policy documents can be found at Chemical and mined fertiliser

Last reviewed: 14 September 2020
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