International Freight Forwarder Association

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Changes to Australian Quarantine Requirements - Ocean Imports to Australia

Friday, June 12, 2009

Note:  This item was submitted for publication by  Ms. Enrica Centorame, director of Global Forwarding Pty. Ltd. (Melbourne, Australia) who adds, "All documents must be in English.  If Commercial Invoices etc. are in another language  Customs will engage the  services of an accredited translator and all charges will be billed back to the overseas agent at Origin."

AQIS Notice to Industry 23/2009 - Changes to AQIS Documentation Requirements for the Clearance of Imported Cargo 

The Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service (AQIS) have announced major changes to the current Packing & Treatment Declaration requirements to be effective for consignments arriving in Australia on or after 1st August 2009. The changes are an important initiative supporting risk assessments of imported cargo and non-commodity concerns.

Packing and Treatment Declarations are required to be completed by treatment service providers, suppliers or packers, as appropriate, for consignments imported into Australia by ocean freight. The revised text of the declarations and requirements should be made available to these parties at the earliest opportunity.

We suggest all clients importing by Ocean Freight send this notice to your suppliers immediately.

The full text of the changes and comparative notes are contained in the Notice via this link The major changes are summarised as follows:


The proposed implementation date for the new polices is 1st August 2009, i.e. for consignments arriving in Australia on or after 1st 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 enforcedfor Annual Packing declarations until 1st January 2010. There is no phasing period for single import Packing Declarations.

TREATMENT CERTIFICATE (  FUMIGATION CERTIFICATES )  - Changes to the treatment certificateNew statement:


FOR METHYL BROMIDE ONLY (Will now have to be included as a statement on the treatment certificate).


Plastic Wrap declaration - This consignment has been fumigated prior to application of plastic wrapping or plastic wrapping in the consignment conforms to AQIS wrapping and perforation standard as found in the AQIS Methyl Bromide Fumigation Standard.

Treatment certificates must also contain any other statement as required by the import conditions, refer



Can now be on a separate statement (on company letterhead) to the packing declaration. AQIS recommend to include the packing & cleanliness declaration in the same document.

PROHIBITED PACKAGING MATERIAL STATEMENT - A new statement now included on the actual packing declaration. (see attachment)


Prohibited packaging materials include straw, bamboo, peat, hay, chaff, etc.


Q1 Have prohibited packaging material or bamboo products been used as packaging or dunnage in the consignment covered by this document? YES or NO.



ISPM 15 is not acceptable for plywood and veneer products.


Packaging made of plywood must be declared and treated as per solid timber regulations. (Fumigated with Methyl Bromide)


The Newly Manufactured Plywood/Veneer Products Declaration is no longer acceptable for packaging and dunnage.



Annual packing declarations and consignment specific Packing Declarations must be issued by the packer or supplier of the goods.

Declaration and Fumigation Templates /Examples
Please see above Attachment

AQIS Minimum Documentary Requirements Policy
The changes are drawn from the AQIS Minimum Documentary Requirements Policy document which is available via this link:
This policy defines in detail 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.
Please ensure that all your suppliers are informed of the changes immediately which will become effective from the 1st August 2009,  Quarantine will not allow any exceptions to the rules.