Compliance and enforcement framework

The APVMA leads the nation’s regulation of agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemicals up to the point of retail sale. We aim to fulfil the objects of our legislation and maintain a level playing field for members of the industry, while allowing access to a diverse and safe range of agvet chemical products to support the Australian economy.

The APVMA works with other Australian Government and state and territory agencies to ensure that only those chemicals assessed to be safe to people, animals and the environment and that do not prejudice trade with other countries are permitted in the Australian market.

Effective compliance and enforcement raises the community’s awareness of our sphere of regulation and encourages voluntary compliance that is both cost-effective and efficient. We adopt a risk-based approach to regulation to ensure that attention and resources focus on maintaining the integrity of the regulatory system and on those areas that pose the greatest risk to human or animal health, the environment, primary and other industries and trade or that are of major concern to the community.

Our compliance and enforcement objectives

The APVMA’s compliance and enforcement framework supports the objectives of:

  • meeting the objects of national agvet chemical legislation
  • encouraging and promoting voluntary compliance, including through effective stakeholder engagement
  • focusing compliance effort on key regulatory priorities, guided by risk
  • applying the APVMA regulatory framework consistently, predictably, transparently and fairly across all regulated commodity areas.
Our objective is to be a world-class regulator of agvet chemicals. Our response to noncompliance will be consistent, predictable, timely, transparent and fair.

These pages explain our policy and approach, the measures and sanctions we can apply, the circumstances in which we will apply them, the standards we strive to meet in the conduct of our work, and the governance of our activities.

Our compliance and enforcement principles

Our approach is guided by five main principles in implementing our compliance and enforcement functions.

Our compliance and enforcement authority and powers

Agvet legislation gives the APVMA compliance and enforcement powers to monitor and assess compliance, manage risk, gather information and investigate and respond to noncompliance.

APVMA Compliance—our risk-based approach

Our approach is based on identifying regulatory risk, taking into account the likelihood and severity of the consequences of noncompliance.

Responsive compliance and enforcement

Our discretion to respond to noncompliance using a graduated range of compliance and enforcement tools.

Our powers to manage risk and enforce compliance

The APVMA has specific powers to manage risk and enforce compliance.

Noncompliance and recalls

How we manage noncompliance allegations, audits and voluntary recalls.

Powers to manage risk or enforce compliance

How we manage compulsory recalls, seizures of evidence and other compliance related programs.

Enforcement actions

The APVMA can take a range of enforcement actions to ensure compliance, including formal warnings, infringement notices and directives.

Civil and criminal actions

Information on when issues of non-compliance proceed to the courts.

APVMA administration and oversight of compliance and enforcement

The APVMA has governance mechanisms to enable senior executive oversight of critical decisions on compliance and enforcement matters.

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