47-2020 - COVID-19 impact on Biosecurity Operations

26 March 2020

Who does this notice affect?

All industry stakeholders involved in imports.

What has changed?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the department has enacted Business Continuity Plans (BCP), which include all biosecurity operations. Incident Management Teams are now meeting daily to discuss and progress any issues.

The delivery of Australian Government services has been classified as essential services. As such, all biosecurity operations will continue to be delivered. Where some operations are provided by third parties (e.g. treatments), they are by extension, considered essential services.

The department is currently assessing the impact of COVID-19 and recent government decisions on our operations. Given we deliver a range of diverse regulatory operations each will be impacted differently and have their own BCP in place to manage such impacts. The department is working to minimise any impacts and is able to reallocate resources where volumes have increased or decreased due to COVID-19.

The department has conducted extensive training, briefings and staff meetings with biosecurity officers to ensure that they are well equipped to do their job and minimise the risk of transmission. To date we have had zero biosecurity staff test positive to COVID-19.

Staff have been trained and are supplied with their own Personal Protective Equipment if and when they are required to wear it. Biosecurity officers will comply with reasonable direction to comply with individual business work health and safety requirements when operating on third party premises. If officers are concerned that the requirement is not reasonable, they will consult with their supervisor to resolve the issue.

Further information

Importers are encouraged to check our website regularly or subscribe to our mailing list for up to date information.

Last reviewed: 26 March 2020
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