Compliance-based inspection trial for peat and selected vegetable seeds

​​The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in conjunction with the Centre for Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA) is trialing new inspection protocols on selected vegetable seeds for sowing and peat.

The trial period will run from 29 August 2016 to November 2017.

The protocol will function similarly to the Compliance Based Inspection Scheme. Eligible imports will qualify for reduced inspections once an importer has established a history of compliance by passing a number of consecutive inspections.

When the trial is complete in November 2017, the department will assess whether these commodities can be added to the Compliance Based Inspection Scheme to continue rewarding good compliance with reduced inspections.

Eligible products

Before you import goods as part of this trial you will need to check:

Selected vegetable seeds for sowing

For vegetable seeds for sowing to be eligible, they must:

  • be listed on Table 1 and imported under the tariff code 1209.91.00
  • have undergone offshore seed purity testing at a department approved laboratory (see BICON cases for details of acceptable purity testing certification)*
  • be imported through cargo (i.e. not imported through the mail).

*Note that seed lots less than 10kg may not require seed purity testing as a condition of import, but do require offshore seed purity testing to be eligible for this trial. Seed lots less than 10kg that are not tested offshore will require inspection on arrival and are not eligible for this trial.

Table 1- Vegetable seed species eligible for the reduced inspection trial
GenusListed permitted vegetable seed speciesCommon names
AlliumSpecies listed in BICON as permitted Allium spp. seed for sowingChives
Amaranthus Amaranthus spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingAmaranth
Asparagus Asparagus spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingAsparagus
Beta Beta spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingBeetroot
BrassicaSpecies listed in BICON as permitted Brassica spp. seed for sowingBok choy
Cichorium Cichorium spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingEndive
Lactuca Lactuca spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingLettuce
Ocimum Ocimum spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingBasil
Raphanus Raphanus spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingRadish
Spinacia Spinacia spp. listed in BICON as Permitted seed for sowingSpinach


For peat imports to be eligible under the reduced inspection trial, they must:

  • be intended for use as fertiliser, soil conditioner, potting mix
  • contain no additives i.e. 100% pure peat.

Imports of peat with any additives, coir peat, coconut fibre and live sphagnum moss are not eligible for this trial.

All imported full container loads of peat being sent to rural locations will remain subject to tailgate inspections as per the sea container delivery postcode classifications.

Trial participation

If you want to take part in the tria​l, you will need to ask your customs broker to use the designated AQIS Commodity Code in conjunction with the relevant tariff code.

When lodging consignments:

  • for eligible vegetable seed imports, use commodity code “LSTD” with tariff code 1209.91.00
  • for eligible peat imports, use commodity code “FERT” with tariff code 2703.00.00.

The AQIS Commodity Code field has not previously been used by the department. This field is included in the CMR Software Developers Guide Business Rules and should be available in the custom brokers’ software.

The AQIS Commodity Code field should be left blank when lodging consignments of ineligible products under these Tariff Codes.

Risk-based inspection rates

To qualify for a risk-based inspection rate, importers must:

  • initially pass 10 consecutive inspections on eligible products using the appropriate AQIS Commodity Code
  • Once qualified, each future consignment willhave a 25% chance of being randomly selected for inspection. Consignments not selected for inspection will be released following a documentation assessment.
  • if a consignment fails an inspection, the importer will then have to pass another 10 inspections to qualify again for the reduced inspection rate.

See above description for importer criteria for reduced inspection rates. 

Trial benefits

Fewer inspections

The trial is intended to reduce the frequency of inspections for eligible consignments after you have established a history of compliance. Fewer inspections can save you time and reduce costs associated with the inspection process.

Compliance reports

If you are a vegetable seed importer, the department is able to provide you with regular feedback reports, with details of your compliance with Australia’s biosecurity requirements and your performance in the trial.

Reports will include the number of:

  • consignments imported
  • inspection passes and failures for consignments during the trial by supplier
  • consignments that did not require an inspection.

These reports are designed to help you identify and select clean suppliers of goods.

Research opportunity

The trial is being used as an opportunity for researchers from the Centre for Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA) to assist in improving our understanding of compliance based inspection protocols. Importers and customs brokers will be invited to participate in voluntary interviews with CEBRA at several stages during the trial.

The department hopes to gain valuable insights to inform improving and expanding the Compliance-Based Inspection Scheme most effectively in the future.

More information

For more information, you can email Imports (please include ‘Tier 2 – CBIS/CEBRA’ in the subject heading) or phone 1800 900 090.