Responsibilities of importers

Before an agricultural or veterinary (agvet) chemical product can be legally imported, supplied, sold, promoted or advertised in Australia, the APVMA must register it (subject to certain exceptions). Part of our role is to monitor and enforce compliance in the marketplace with the regulatory requirements relating to agvet chemical products, and to help manufacturers, importers and suppliers of agvet chemicals to be aware of and have an understanding of these regulatory requirements.

We work closely with state and territory governments to ensure there is effective coordination and communication of monitoring and compliance efforts. We also work with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service to help stop the illegal importation of agvet chemicals.

The APVMA monitors the importation of agvet chemicals to limit the potential distribution of unregistered and unapproved chemicals in the Australian marketplace. Once an agvet chemical product is registered, persons must use these products and not attempt to import products with similar names registered for use in other countries. Such imported products may not be identical to the APVMA-registered products and are unlikely to carry the APVMA-approved label designed to meet Australian requirements for efficacy and safety.

We may, however, give consent in writing to a person who wishes to import a chemical substance for which import would otherwise be an offence under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 (Admin Act).

You must not import an unregistered agricultural or veterinary chemical product or an unapproved active constituent into Australia, unless it has either been exempted from the importation provisions or the importer has obtained written Consent to Import from the APVMA. Under special but limited circumstances, we may provide written Consent to Import to allow the import of unregistered agvet chemical products and unapproved active constituents.

If you have imported a product without our consent (and our consent was needed) and you do not have a reasonable excuse, you may have committed an offence under the Admin Act. You may also find you cannot clear the product through customs.

For further information on importing agvet chemicals, refer to the guideline on Consent to Import.

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