External Territories

​​​​​​​The Biosecurity Act 2015 is the primary legislation for the management of the risk of diseases and pests that may cause harm to human, animal or plant health, the environment and the economy. Its jurisdiction includes the management of the risk of diseases and pests to Australian territory including the external Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The Biosecurity Act also extended to Norfolk Island from 1 July 2016 by regulation due to the whole of government reforms to the Island that took effect from that date.

These Territories each have complex and unique terrestrial ecosystems, including a high level of native plants and animals that need protection. As a result of the different animal and plant health statuses, the Territories require separate and different biosecurity arrangements. These arrangements and responsibilities are set out in the Biosecurity Act 2015 and subordinate legislation.   

Under the Biosecurity Act the movements of vessels, goods and people between these external territories ​and mainland Australia are managed like international movements, rather than interstate movements. Therefore vessels, aircrafts and goods need to report accordingly to manage the risk of a pest or disease being introduced to the Islands or the mainland.

Importing to the External Territories

Due to the differing pest and disease status, specific import requirements have been be developed for each place. Import requirements for all Australian territories are based on scientific evidence and government policy, ensuring the distinct biosecurity differences of each place are managed accordingly.

Prior to importing goods into the external Territories, importers should refer to the relevant determination that provides the conditions for import specific to each external Territory:

Please note that unless an exemption applies, or conditions are set out within the relevant determination, alternative conditions may apply. If you would like to import goods not covered in the determination, you will need to complete an Application for Permit form.

External Territories covered by the Biosecurity Act

Map depicting the external Territories, the Australian mainland and the 12 Nautical Mile limit to which the Biosecurity Act applies.

Further Information

For more information on the Territories unique biodiversity as well as the environmental management and ecotourism on the islands visit the Parks Australia website.

Other useful websites include:

Contact us for more information

Call 1800 040 629 or email New Biosecurity Legislation to find out more about the Biosecurity Act 2015 and what it means for you.