Applying for an approved arrangement

​​​​​​When assessing your application for an approved arrangement (AA), the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources takes into account:

  • the nature of the goods that will be managed under the AA
  • any biosecurity risks posed by those goods.

If your application is approved, the department will specify conditions that you must meet to ensure these risks are minimised.

Please note:

  • Applicants for AAs must be an Australian legal entity.
  • The name of the legal entity on the application needs to match the details held by the Australian Business Register. The department uses the ABN Lookup website to confirm applicant details.
  • The department cannot approve an arrangement where the applicant is a trust. However, arrangements may be approved where the applicant is the trustee of a trust.
  • Where a trustee wishes to apply for an AA, a trust deed must be submitted with the application and the applicant listed must be the legal name of the trustee.

[Expand all]

Roles and responsibilities

You will need to determine roles that are relevant to your business to be able to complete the application, these roles can either be different or the same people.

DelegatePerson with the delegation to submit the application.
AA managerPerson who will be responsible for the AA. Previously the nominated senior manager.
AA site contactPerson who will be the contact for a particular site. Previously the contact person.

Approval process

The department must make a decision to either approve or refuse your application within 90 days of receipt of your application, and 120 days for technical applications.

If the department cannot make a decision within this time your application will be refused. If you want to continue with your application after it has been refused, you will need to lodge a new application and pay a new application fee.

Please note:

It is important that you are confident that you meet the requirements for approval at the time you lodge your application, and you are ready to be assessed at an onsite audit. If you do not meet the requirements for approval there is limited time to address concerns prior to the department making a decision on your application.

Once the application, supporting information and any relevant application fee have been received, an initial assessment is conducted to ensure that the applicable requirements have been met.

After the successful completion of the initial assessment, if the proposed arrangement involves the physical handling of goods, a pre-approval audit may be required to assess site facilities and equipment requirements.

Applications are subject to approval by the Director of Biosecurity and will be assessed on their individual merits, with consideration being given to the:

  • capability of the applicant to carry out the arrangement
  • applicant having any necessary equipment and facilities to carry out the arrangement
  • applicant being a fit and proper person
  • level of biosecurity risk associated with the proposed arrangement
  • capability of the arrangement to be monitored for compliance with the Biosecurity Act 2015.

If the department requires further information from you to support your application, you will receive a formal notice requesting this information. The request will include the date by which the information must be provided to the department. The date will generally be 60 calendar days from the date of the request. The 90 day consideration period will be extended by the amount of time it takes you to provide the requested information (up to the maximum time stated in the notice).

If you do not supply the information by the date on the request your application may be refused. If you want to continue with your application after it has been refused, you will need to lodge a new application and pay a new application fee.


The approval of your proposed arrangement may be subject to payment of an application lodgment levy. The application levy only applies to entities entering into an AA with the department if they currently do not hold an AA with the department. An entity is defined by their Australian Business Number (ABN).

All applications will be charged fee-for-service rates for the time taken to assess the application. The average assessment time is two hours although some applications may take longer. If the assessment time is expected to be longer than five hours, the department will contact you to see if you wish to proceed.

Fees for the pre-approval audit, including pre and post audit activities, will be charged according to the out-of-office fee-for-service rate.

A single annual levy is payable per entity upon approval, and at the end of every financial year.

Information about current fees and levies are available in the department’s charging guidelines.


Some training may be required as part of the approval process depending on the class of AA you are applying for.

Co-located sites

More information regarding the co-location of AA sites is available in the Approved arrangements general policies.

Biosecurity containment sites

The department requires that sites conducting biosecurity containment activities under an AA must comply with the design and construction aspects of these standards:

  • Australian/New Zealand Standards AS/NZS 2982.1:1997 (Laboratory Design and Construction)
  • AS/NZS 2243.3:2002 (Safety in Laboratories).

A departmental approved third party assessor must be engaged to undertake an assessment against the relevant standards for certain containment sites.

Application process

If you or your business are seeking approval to enter into an AA, you will need to complete the appropriate application for an AA. You should only lodge an application for an AA when you are confident that you meet the department’s requirements and are ready for an onsite audit.

For AA classes, except for class 43.1 disinsection treatments or any non-broker AA class with nonstandard conditions, please complete the online:

Application for an approved arrangement.

The application is designed to work with modern web browsers, at a minimum please use one of the following:

  • Google Chrome version 32
  • Mozilla Firefox version 27
  • Internet Explorer version 10
  • default internet browser on most modern mobile devices.

Please contact the department if you experience any technical issues when completing the online application.

You will be required to enter your ABN and AA manager email address to log into the application. These details can be used to access draft applications. Once submitted, this same combination of ABN and AA manager email address can be re-used for another new application. If you do not submit a draft application it will be removed from the system after 90 days.

For class 43.1 disinsection treatment applications and any non-broker applications with non-standard conditions, please complete:

DocumentsPagesFile typeFile size
Class 43.1 disinsection treatments: Application for approval of an approved arrangement5Word164 KB
Class 43.1 disinsection treatments: Application for approval of an approved arrangement5PDF500 KB
Non-broker classes non-standard conditions: Application for approval of an approved arrangement8Word243 KB
Non-broker classes non-standard conditions: Application for approval of an approved arrangement8PDF205​ KB

The department can provide you with general advice prior to lodging an application. If you need specific information or want an officer to visit your site you will need to lodge an application and pay the application fee first.

To obtain approval, you will need to:

After the application and supporting information is submitted to the department, you will be required to pay an application fee if you do not currently hold an AA with the department.

Further information

Please contact the department for more information regarding the application process.

If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.