Infringement Notice Scheme

​​The Biosecurity Act 2015 (Biosecurity Act) introduces a broad infringement notice scheme comprising 49 infringements which can be issued across numerous environments such as airports, seaports, and cargo.

Infringement notices provide an administrative method for dealing with certain breaches of the law and are typically used for low-level offences.

An infringement notice provides an alternate to prosecution for an offence or litigation of a civil matter. If the recipient chooses to pay the amount specified in the notice on time, all guilt or liability regarding the alleged contravention is discharged.

Fines and penalty units

The fine amount for an infringement notice is expressed in penalty units. Section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914 sets the monetary amount of a penalty unit and is currently $180.

The amount payable under the four main infringement notices issued to passengers in a traveller environment (i.e. airport/seaport) is 2 penalty units ($360). In all other environments the amount payable under an infringement notice issued to an individual is 12 penalty units ($2,160) and 60 penalty units ($10,800) for a body corporate.

Paying an infringement notice

Infringement notices issued in a traveller arrival environment, such as an airport, are on-the-spot fines and must be paid immediately. They can be paid via credit card, cheque or cash.

All other infringement notices must be payed within 28 days of the date the notice was issued. They can be paid via cheque, money order or credit card.

You can apply for an extension of time in which to pay the infringement notice provided you do so within 28 days of the day it was issued.

If you choose not to pay the amount outlined on the infringement notice, the department may choose to pursue the matter by seeking a civil penalty order. The court may then impose the maximum penalty for the offence. Maximum penalties for each offence are outlined in the Biosecurity Act.

Types of infringement notices

Infringements in the new scheme can be issued for failing to follow directions, failing to answer questions or secure goods, interfering with goods, providing false and misleading information or documents, as well as failing to provide information or documents. A full list of the 49 infringements in the Biosecurity Act is provided in the table below.

Biosecurity officers may issue multiple infringement notices to an individual if there have been multiple contraventions of provisions which are subject to an infringement notice.

ItemSection numberSection text
1124(2)Direction to secure goods
2125(4)Inspecting goods and taking samples
3126(2)*Asking questions about goods
4127(3)Requiring documents relating to goods to be produced
5128(2)*Movement of goods
6129(2)Biosecurity control notice may be affixed to goods or given to person in charge of goods
7130(2)Unauthorised persons must not move etc. goods in relation to which direction has been given or notice has been affixed
8139(3)Biosecurity officer may affix notice to goods
9188(1)Receiving or possessing prohibited or suspended goods brought or imported into Australian territory
10196(4)Persons on incoming aircraft or vessel may be required to provide information to assess biosecurity risk
11198(2)Securing conveyance
12200(2)Asking questions about conveyance
13201(3)Requiring documents relating to conveyance to be produced
14202(2)Movement of conveyance
15203(2)Biosecurity control notice may be affixed to conveyance or given to person in charge of conveyance
16204(2)Unauthorised persons must not move etc. conveyance in relation to which direction has been given
17214(3)Biosecurity officer may affix notice to conveyance
18220(1)Information about biosecurity requirements must be given to persons on board incoming aircraft or vessels
19221(3)Quarantine signal
20301(4)Power to require owner of Australian vessel to provide ballast water records
21317(3)Direction to secure goods or conveyance
22318(4)Inspections and taking samples of goods or premises
23319(2)Asking questions about goods or premises
24320(3)Requiring documents relating to goods or premises to be produced
25321(2)Movement of goods or conveyance
26322(3)Biosecurity officer may affix notice to goods or conveyance
27323(1)Unauthorised persons must not move etc. goods or conveyance to which notice has been affixed
28348(3)Biosecurity officer may affix notice to goods or premises
29363(1)Unauthorised persons must not interfere with etc. biosecurity control order affixed to goods or premises
30373(1)Unauthorised persons must not interfere with etc. notices or markings identifying biosecurity response zone
31374(1)Unauthorised persons must not interfere with etc. notices or markings identifying goods or premises in a biosecurity response zone
32381(1)Unauthorised persons must not interfere with etc. notices or markings identifying permanent biosecurity monitoring zone
33382(1)Unauthorised persons must not interfere with etc. notices or markings identifying goods or premises in a permanent biosecurity monitoring zone
34383(1)Unauthorised persons must not interfere with etc. equipment etc. set up in permanent biosecurity monitoring zone
35391(1)Unauthorised persons must not interfere with etc. notices or markings identifying temporary biosecurity monitoring zone
36392(1)Unauthorised persons must not interfere with etc. notices or markings identifying goods or premises in temporary biosecurity monitoring zone
37393(1)Unauthorised persons must not interfere with etc. equipment etc. set up in temporary biosecurity monitoring zone
38401(1)Unauthorised persons must not interfere with etc. notices or markings identifying biosecurity activity zone
39402(1)Unauthorised persons must not interfere with etc. notices or markings identifying goods or premises in a biosecurity activity zone
40438(1)Giving false or misleading information to a biosecurity industry participant
41439(1)Giving false or misleading documents to a biosecurity industry participant
42456(3)Notice may be affixed to goods or a conveyance
43532(1)*Civil penalty provision for false or misleading information
44533(1)*Civil penalty provision for false or misleading documents
45556(4)Powers that may be exercised by biosecurity officer after boarding a conveyance
46600(6)Biosecurity officer may withhold goods that are subject to charge
47601(1)Moving or interfering with withheld goods
48607(1)Moving or interfering with detained conveyance
49631(3)Person complying with direction or request must not damage or destroy goods

* Four main infringement notices issued in a traveller environment