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DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION AND BORDER PROTECTION NOTICE No. 2016/30
Background Since 31 December 2003, an Australia wide ban on the importation, manufacture and use of asbestos and products containing asbestos has been in place. In Australia, a product containing asbestos is prohibited for importation without prior permission under Regulation 4C of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956.
Under sections 233(1) and (1AA) of the Customs Act 1901 it is an offence to import a prohibited good. Prohibited imports that arrive at the Australian border may be seized and the importer may be prosecuted or subject to penalties.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) proactively manages the risk of asbestos-containing products from entering into Australia. Since its establishment, the ABF has significantly increased its operational and strategic focus on imported goods that pose a risk of containing asbestos. The ABF employs a risk based intelligence-led approach to target these highrisk goods.
It is the responsibility of importers to ensure that they do not import prohibited goods, including asbestos. Traders need to be aware of the varying definitions and standards applied to goods in the country of origin and / or supply, as some countries allow goods to contain low levels of asbestos. Before goods are imported to Australia, importers should ensure their supply chain security by confirming with their overseas suppliers that asbestos was not used to manufacture the goods.
Importers must provide sufficient assurance to demonstrate that imported goods do not contain asbestos. One of the ways importers can provide assurance is through sampling and testing of goods by an accredited laboratory. Certification of samples tested outside Australia must be from a laboratory that is accredited by international accreditation authorities (that are National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)-recognised equivalents). Any other certificates or statements provided by manufacturers or third parties will not be accepted by the ABF.
In some instances, further assurances will be required through Community Protection Questions (CPQs) for full import declarations in the Integrated Cargo System to confirm that imported goods do not contain asbestos.
If the ABF suspects that imported goods contain asbestos, these goods will be held at the border for further testing. In Australia, the ABF requires testing by a NATA accredited laboratory to certify that the goods do not contain asbestos.
For further information about Australia’s asbestos import prohibition is located on the Department’s Website.
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