Asbestos – not just in car parts

In a post on June 7, 2016 I alerted readers to a case where imported, counterfeit, car parts were found to contain asbestos. Asbestos is, under Australian law, a strictly prohibited import and export and requires special permission from the Australian Government for anyone wishing to deal in this deadly product.

When processing import declarations on behalf of importers, Customs brokers are required to answer a series of community protection questions designed to filter out items that might contain asbestos. The Australian Border Force (“ABF”) have expanded the range of tariff classifications (HS codes) to which questions relating to asbestos content are linked. In recent discussions between the ABF and the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (“CBFCA”), the ABF re-iterated their position when it comes to asbestos.

In a nutshell, the OWNER of the goods must be CERTAIN that the goods do not contain ANY asbestos – there must be ZERO asbestos content. How can an owner be certain? By having the goods tested by a testing authority recognised by the National Association of Testing Authorities (“NATA”) in Australia (for goods intended for export) or by a testing authority recognised by an overseas body of similar standing to NATA. Further information about testing authorities can be found on the NATA website.

There is also a wealth of information on the ABF website here, which includes a list of those items considered high risk of containing asbestos.

© Lighthouse Agencies Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

Beware of counterfeit car parts – they might contain asbestos

The following article is provided courtesy of the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA).

A recent Media Report from the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) revealed the importation of counterfeit car parts into Australia, some of which contain asbestos.

ASEA recently presented at CBFCA Regional Conventions around Australia to highlight the growing concern in relation to such imports and to educate industry members to assist them to help their importer clients to comply with the prohibition on importing asbestos.

The importation into Australia of asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) is strictly prohibited except under very limited circumstances. Australian law has zero tolerance for asbestos or ACMs. Responsibility lies with the importer for ensuring goods are asbestos-free prior to importation.

Goods imported into Australia (without an exemption) can attract fines (at the time of writing) of up to AUD 170,000.00 or three (3) times the value of the goods, whichever is greater.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) also reaffirmed in their presentations an intensifying of their efforts to address the risk of asbestos in imported goods, especially in building products and children’s toys.

To the view the article about how the ASEA found out about the asbestos in the counterfeit parts, please see here.

Information on Australian standards can be found on the National Association of Testing Authorities website.

© Lighthouse Agencies Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

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