Who does this notice affect?
Importers of conditionally non-prohibited goods that require an import permit and agents acting on importers’ behalf.
What has changed?
From 9 April 2018, the department will no longer facilitate the clearance of conditionally non-prohibited goods that arrive without the required import permit.
Goods that require a permit, but arrive without one, including where an application is currently under consideration, will be directed for export from Australian territory or required to be destroyed in an approved manner.
Why are permits required?
The Biosecurity (Prohibited and Conditionally Non-prohibited Goods) Determination 2016 (the Determination)specifies the alternative conditions for the import of conditionally non-prohibited goods. Where there are no alternative conditions for particular goods specified in the Determination an import permit is required.
The import permit assessment and approval process, as set out in the Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act), provides the department with control over the import of certain biosecurity risk goods through the application of conditions based on technical, scientific, administrative requirements, and the fitness and propriety of the importer and their associates.
Conditionally non-prohibited goods must not be brought or imported into Australian territory, unless the specified conditions are complied with, including holding a valid import permit if required. The Act does not provide for permits to be issued after the goods have been brought into Australian territory, and to do so is a criminal offence with a penalty of 5 years imprisonment or 300 penalty units, or both. The penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment and/or 2,000 penalty units if a person obtains a commercial advantage over their competitors or potential competitors. Contravening the Act can also make a person liable to a civil penalty of up to 120 penalty units.