88-2020 - Recurring issues in the importation of biological products

18 June 2020

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is of interest to importers of biological products and associated industry participants

What has changed?

The department has noticed some recurring issues in the importation of biological products. The following information will assist importers to address those issues and minimise delays in the border clearance process.

Biological products include:

  • food
  • medicines
  • vaccines
  • diagnostic kits
  • laboratory materials
  • human & animal fluids and tissues
  • environmental samples (inc. soil and water)

Biosecurity import permit

Most biological products require a biosecurity import permit from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE).

You must have a valid import permit before your goods arrive in Australia. If a permit is required and your products arrive without one, you will likely be directed to export or destroy them. If all permit conditions, including documentary requirements, are not met when your goods arrive in Australia, you may be directed to export or destroy them, or there could be significant delays.

Find out more about import conditions on the department’s Biosecurity Import Conditions database (BICON).  

Help for new importers

The import process can seem difficult, particularly for new importers. This can be complicated by factors such as urgency of importation and special handling and storage requirements for biological products. 

If you are unfamiliar with Australia’s import processes, the department recommends that you use a customs broker or courier who is experienced with your type of products, to help you navigate the transport and documentary requirements for your consignments.

Find out more about how to import goods to Australia

Other requirements

You should also check if other regulatory requirements must be met before you import to Australia.

Examples include:

Further information

If you require further information, please call 1800 900 090 or email Imports.

Last reviewed: 18 June 2020
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