Client service standards

​At the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources we are committed to improving our service delivery to better meet our clients’ needs.

Our client service standards have been developed to ensure we are meeting client expectations and are delivering our services within agreed time frames.

The standards outlined here describe how our clients can expect requests for information or services to be progressed by the department. These include:

  • requests for general information
  • import-specific services
  • export-specific services.

They also set out what is expected of our clients.

We are committed to providing quality services and regularly reviewing our service standards. Our client contact performance report provides a quarterly update of how we are performing against these standards.

Standards for our client contact services

[expand all]

Correspondence by phone

Our service standard: For calls received through the national contact number we will answer your call within 2 minutes.

This standard applies to clients contacting the department through the national contact number: 1800 900 090.

Our service target: 80% of calls to be answered within our service standard.

Correspondence by online forms

Our service standard:

  • For general enquiries received through the department’s online contact form we will provide immediate confirmation of receipt and respond to your request within 10 business days of receipt.
  • If we cannot fully answer your query in that time we will advise you of when a complete response can be expected.
  • Wherever possible, we will respond earlier. For some services, such as permit and grant applications, specific service standards may exist.

Your client obligations: You need to provide detailed and relevant information with your enquiry. Appropriate contact details should be included to ensure the department can follow up in cases where additional information is required.

Our service target: 80% of requests to be responded to within our service standard.

Bookings by phone/email

Our service standard: We will confirm your booking request, cancellation or amendment within 1 business day of receipt.

Your client obligations: You must give 1 business day’s notice to cancel or modify a booked inspection or audit, not including weekends and public holidays. For example, a 1 pm booking on a Monday must be cancelled no later than 1 pm on a Friday.

Our service target: 95% of bookings to be confirmed within our service standard.

Standards for our import services

[expand all]

Inspection of goods at an approved premises

Our service standard:

  • We will provide this service within 3 business days of confirmation of your scheduled appointment.
  • During periods of significant short-term increases in trade activity, there may be delays. If this is the case, we will consult you to agree on a mutually suitable time for your appointment.

Your client obligations:

  • You are required to have goods ready for inspection prior to requesting a booking.
  • All associated documentation must be provided prior to confirmation of your appointment.

Our service target: 95% of inspections to be provided within our service standard.

Treatments

Our service standard:

  • We will provide you or your representative with treatment direction within 2 business days following an inspection.
  • The time taken for processing your goods is dependent on the nature of treatment or the mandatory duration of quarantine periods.

Your client obligations:

  • Where treatment direction is given at the time of inspection, you must decide whether to proceed with the treatment.
  • Where treatment direction is not given at the time of inspection, you must provide appropriate contact details for follow-up.

Our service target: 95% of treatments to be processed within our service standard.

Inspection of non-commercial vessels

Our service standard:

  • On arrival at a port at which the department has a permanent staff presence, we will aim to provide an initial inspection within 1 business day from you advising the department of your arrival.
  • In periods of increased arrivals, such as regattas, the time to attend an inspection may be slightly longer.

Your client obligations: You must be available and have your vessel ready for inspection upon arrival. All associated documentation is to be provided prior to inspection.

Our service target: 95% of inspections to be provided within our service standard.

Assess/issue import documentation lodged via COLS

Our service standard:

  • We will process your lodgement within 1 business day of receipt for urgent items.
  • Non-urgent items will be processed within 2 business days of receipt.
  • Lodgement processing may take longer if:
    • they require policy advice
    • incomplete or incorrect information is provided
    • additional information is required to continue the assessment (applicants will be notified of this by the assessing officers).

Your client obligations: You may be required to promptly provide additional information to continue the assessment, including evidence to support urgent freight lodgement classification.

  • Our service target: 80% of assessments to be processed within our service standard.

Assess/issue import documentation lodged via email

Our service standard:

  • We will process your lodgement within 3 business day of receipt.
  • Lodgement processing may take longer if:
    • they require policy advice
    • incomplete or incorrect information is provided
    • additional information is required to continue the assessment (applicants will be notified of this by the assessing officers).

Email lodgement is to be used only for items listed as per industry notice 20-2016.

Your client obligations: You may be required to promptly provide additional information to continue the assessment, including evidence to support urgent freight lodgement classification.

Our service target: 80% of assessments to be processed within our service standard.

Attendance in-office for clearing of imported or exported goods

Our service standard:

  • We aim to attend to you within 30 minutes of you arriving at the office.
  • During peak periods throughout a business day and when there are significant short-term increases in trade activity, there may be delays in our larger offices.
  • You can expect to spend about 15 minutes with a departmental officer for each standard transaction that is accompanied by valid documentation.
  • Urgent and non-commercial client personal effects will be considered higher priority.

Your client obligations: You may be required to promptly provide additional information to continue the assessment, including evidence to support urgent freight lodgement classification.

Our service target: 80% of clearances to be attended within our service standard.

Import permits—applications using BICON

Our service standard:

We will issue import permits within 20 business days of completed applications being received and paid for in full.

  • Applications may take longer if:
    • they require technical assessment
    • incomplete or incorrect information is provided by the applicant
    • additional information is required to continue the assessment (applicants will be notified of this by the assessing officers)
    • it is a novel product or has been prepared in a novel manner.

Your client obligations: You may be required to promptly provide additional information to continue the assessment.

Our service target: 90% of import permits to be issued within our service standard.

Standards for our export services

[expand all]

Inspection of goods at an export-registered establishment

Our service standard:

  • We will aim to provide an officer to inspect goods at an export-registered establishment within 3 business days of your request for an appointment.
  • Inspection times are based on availability so we may be able to provide the service within a shorter timeframe.

Your client obligations: You must provide a Notice of Intention to export at the time of booking the inspection. This can be in the form of either an electronic Request for Permit (EXDOC) or manual Notice of Intention (EX28). Inspection can only be performed if the Request for Permit conforms to the MICOR requirements.

Our service target: 95% of inspections to be provided within our service standard.

Inspection of goods for air freight exports

Our service standard:

  • We will aim to provide an inspection for goods exported by air freight within 24 hours of your request for an appointment.
  • During periods of increased trade activity, there may be delays in meeting your requested inspection time.

Your client obligations: You must lodge a Request for Permit prior to booking an inspection. Inspections can only be performed if the Request for Permit conforms to the MICOR requirements.

Our service target: 95% of inspections to be provided within our service standard.

Inspection of goods for sea freight exports

Our service standard:

  • We will aim to provide an inspection for goods exported by sea freight within 3 business days of your request for an appointment.
  • During periods of increased trade activity, there may be delays in meeting your requested inspection time.

Your client obligations: You must lodge a Request for Permit prior to booking an inspection. Inspections can only be performed if the Request for Permit conforms to the MICOR requirements.

Our service target: 95% of inspections to be provided within our service standard.

Inspection of bulk vessels for export

Our service standard: We will aim to provide a physical inspection within 3 business days of a confirmed appointment.
Your client obligations: You must lodge a Request for Permit prior to booking an inspection. Inspection can only be performed if the Request for Permit conforms to the MICOR requirements.

Our service target: 95% of inspections to be provided within our service standard.

Assess/issue export documentation

Our service standard:

  • We will process your lodgement within 1 business day for air freight.
  • We will process your lodgement within 3 business days for sea freight.

Your client obligations: You are required to submit correctly completed electronic (RFP) and/or manual templates, including any relevant supporting documentation and evidence.

Our service target: 95% of assessments to be processed within our service standard.

Plant export authorised officer application—application assessment

Our service standard: When an application is received and the application fee has been paid, we will aim to assess your application within 15 business days.

Your client obligations: You must pay the application fee before an application can be processed. The provision of complete and correct information will reduce processing time.

Our service target: 90% of application assessments to be processed within our service standard.

Plant export authorised officer application—Deed of Obligations

Our service standard: When an assessment tool that has a competent result is received, we will require a further 10 business days to process a Deed of Obligations.

Our service target: 90% of requests to be processed within our service standard.

Plant export authorised officer application—Instrument of Appointment

Our service standard: When all training, assessment and further documentation have been completed and all fees have been paid, we will require a further 10 business days to provide the Instrument of Appointment.

Your client obligations: You must complete and return the Deed of Obligations and pay the appointment fee before an Instrument of Appointment can be prepared.

Our service target: 90% of Instruments of Appointment to be issued within our service standard.

​​