Department of Agriculture Biosecurity fee review finalised

In a previous article, I notified readers of the Department of Agriculture, Biosecurity Division, review of its fees with any increases to become effective from 1 July, 2014.

The review is now complete and the Department has published a list of the new charges to take effect from 1 July, 2014. The increases relating to import declarations and container inspections are modest, with the largest increase being only AU$6.00. Increases for permit applications and related assessments are significant, being generally between 45% and 50% (for example, the base application fee for an import permit lodged electronically will increase from AU$85.00 to AU$125.00).

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Department of Agriculture Biosecurity increases surveillance of timber packaging materials from China

The Department of Agriculture Biosecurity division today released Notice to Industry 59/2014 advising they are increasing surveillance of timber packaging materials originating in China.

The Department recently intercepted some pallets that were found to be infested with Asian longhorn beetle, the brown mulberry longhorn beetle, and the Japanese sawyer beetle. All of these are considered significant pests of living trees. The concern is that the pallets were all marked with the treatment identification code ISPM15 HT and supporting documents were provided which confirmed treatment had occurred.

The Department has determined that the treatment was not effective and is asking for the assistance of everyone involved in the importing chain to be on the lookout for timber packaging materials that are showing signs of insect damage or ineffective treatment, and to inspect all timber packaging or dunnage as it arrives at their premises, or already received. Such signs include holes and piles of frass (fine sawdust), large pieces of bark or the presence of mould or fungus.

Any suspect materials should be immediately notified to the Department via 1800 19 55 43

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