Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Record fine for biosecurity breach

AUSTRALIA

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has issued fines of $13,320 to a company that contravened Australia’s Biosecurity Act 2015.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud said at 60 penalty units, it was the highest infringement notice amount ever issued for a breach of the Act.

“Anyone who imports goods into Australia should be aware of the biosecurity requirements, Minister Littleproud said. 

“Importers must take active steps to understand and comply with the law, including following directions given by biosecurity officers to manage biosecurity risks.

“This company was directed to secure shipping containers at its premises pending the identification of insects found when unpacking one of the containers.   

“Before biosecurity officers could inspect the containers, the company had moved them, contravening the Biosecurity Act.”

The Minister said that when the containers were eventually located and inspected, a number of insects were detected which were later identified as exotic wood-boring insects.

“While the containers were promptly fumigated and the biosecurity risk effectively managed by the department, the company’s actions are unacceptable and exposed our agricultural industries, environment and communities to serious biosecurity risk.”

“Biosecurity directions are issued for a reason. They are designed to manage biosecurity risk. Importers and those within supply chains must comply. 

“The infringement notice sends a clear message that breaches of Australia’s biosecurity requirements will not be tolerated.”

The company has paid the infringement notice.

For more information about importing to Australia visit: www.agriculture.gov.au/import

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