The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is responsible for reducing the risk of exotic pests or diseases entering the country that may harm Australia’s unique environment, agricultural and horticultural industries.
To assist the fertiliser industry comply with Australia’s strict import requirements, the department and the Fertilizer Australia have developed a set of standards to streamline biosecurity inspection processes and requirements. These standards are reflected in our Imported bulk cargo fertiliser inspection protocols.
To acknowledge industry best practice systems, the department has launched the Level 1 gold system status for companies that are assessed by the department as meeting the standard outlined below.
Level 1 gold system status supplier
Companies that achieve the Level 1 gold system status will:
- receive formal recognition of their best practice systems and processes
- only be audited by the department every 6 years
- have lower operational costs due to the reduction of the department audits.
The department will assess Level 1 supply chains in consultation with the Fertiliser Australia Import Logistics Committee to determine suitable candidates for Level 1 gold System Status.
The criteria for assessment are:
- close proximity of manufacture to the load port (e.g. same location) to reduce the risk of contamination during transport
- maintain Level 1 System Status for 3 years with two successful the department audits
- maintain Level 1 System Status for 6 years through independent third party audits (for locations where the department is unable to attend).
The other available risk management strategies are:
Level 1: Low risk consignment
The benefits for achieving the Level 1 standard are:
- minimal intervention by the department at the border
- on arrival, the cargo hold does not need to be inspected therefore the discharge of goods can commence at any time of the day or night.
To achieve Level 1, companies must implement the department recognised contamination management strategies across their supply chain, from the point of manufacture through to and including the vessel’s voyage.
Level 1 requirements are:
- a department audit of the manufacturer, or load port, every three years, involving desk and site audits
- an annual third party audit of the manufacturer, or load port
- the manufacturer’s declaration for each consignment confirming the manufacturing processes, transport operations, storage facilities and wharf operations have not changed since the department's last audit
- that each consignment includes a sample analysis certificate for organic contamination
- that each consignment includes a vessel cleanliness certificate
- that each consignment includes a vessel survey inspection report and treatment order issued at the load-port
- confirmation the vessel has either never carried an actionable cargo since new, has achieved the department empty hold (Level 1) certification or has been issued with a Bulk Vessel Approval Record (PE103) for prescribed goods/grains by an authorised the department officer under the Export Control Act 1982 and the Grain Plant and Plant Product Orders
- that the vessel takes a direct route to Australia and must not include any cargo activity between the port of loading and port of arrival in Australia.
Level 2: Medium risk consignment
The inspection process for Level 2:
- medium level of intervention at the border
- the vessel’s hold requires inspection
- inspections must occur during daylight hours
- discharge cannot commence until holds have passed inspection.
To achieve Level 2:
- a department audit of the manufacturer, or load port, every 3 years, involving desk and site audits
- manufacturer declaration provided for each consignment , including product, tonnage and supply chain details
- confirmation the vessel has not carried actionable cargo within the last six voyages.
Level 3: High risk consignment
Companies are given Level 3 status if:
- they do not provide sufficient evidence of contamination control for one or more stages of their supply chain
- they have not been audited by the department
- the vessel has carried actionable cargo within the last six voyages.
On arrival at an Australian port a high level of the department intervention is required. The inspection process includes:
- initial inspection of all holds
- inspections must occur during daylight hours
- discharge cannot commence until holds have passed inspection
- if the consignment does not pass initial inspection, the department may refuse discharge
- all landed fertiliser requires an additional inspection at an approved arrangements site.