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Customs & Regulatory Updates

Changes to AQIS documentation requirements for the clearance of imported cargo

Notice to Industry 23/2009
This notice is to advise that AQIS has recently undertaken a review of the documentary requirements for the clearance of imported cargo. The purpose of the review was to clarify and simplify the 'rules' under which documents used for the clearance of imported cargo were either acceptable or unacceptable to AQIS.

The review was conducted in consultation with industry and has resulted in the development of two new policies:

  1. Minimum Documentary Requirements Policy
    This policy defines the minimum requirements for documentation presented to AQIS to support the risk assessment of imported cargo and non-commodity concerns, whether for quarantine or imported foods purposes.

  2. Non-Commodity Information Requirements Policy
    This policy defines the information requirements that must be met to support the assessment of non-commodity concerns associated with imported cargo. It covers the type of consignment, the types of packaging materials used in the consignment, and the container cleanliness statement.

These two policy documents will support the decision making process when assessing the documentation associated with the clearance of imported cargo.


What are the major changes under the new policies?
To highlight the major changes in the assessment of documentation for the clearance of imported cargo, a table showing these changes has been included as Attachment A to this notice.

Action required
Importers and brokers are strongly encouraged to advise their overseas clients and suppliers of these impending documentary changes to assist them to comply with the new policies. AQIS will accept documentation issued in compliance with the new policies immediately where indicated with an asterisk (*) in Attachment A. However, accredited brokers operating under a current Compliance Agreement must continue to assess documentation in line with the current assessment requirements of that Scheme.

The proposed implementation date for the new policies is 1 August 2009.

To allow sufficient time for the reissue of Annual Packing Declarations, there will be a phase in period where the revised requirements will not be enforced for Annual Packing Declarations until 1 January 2010.

Information updates
AQIS will be issuing further industry notices during the implementation period to ensure that industry is kept informed of progress and actions that need to be taken.

All enquiries regarding the impact of the non-commodity documentation requirements on the Broker Accreditation Scheme (BAS) should be directed to the Industry Partnerships Unit, AQIS Canberra by email.

Other enquiries should be directed to the Entry Management Team, AQIS Canberra by email at entrymanagement@aqis.gov.au.


For more information, please visit Australia Quarantine and Inspection Service.

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