This content is current only at the time of printing. This document was printed on 12 December 2019. A current copy is located at https://apvma.gov.au/node/18501
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Choosing a chemical
Before buying or using an agvet product, always ensure it is registered with the APVMA and displays the APVMA registration number on the label. Unless exempt from the registration requirement, unregistered products are illegal and can be dangerous.
Beware of buying from unfamiliar suppliers and always check with online and overseas sellers to ensure their products are APVMA registered before you buy them If there isn’t an APVMA or NRA registration number on the label, the product is not registered.
If there isn't an APVMA or NRA registration number on the label, then the product is not registered.
You can also find out if a product is registered or has been issued a minor use permit by searching the chemicals or permits databases.
You can search the chemicals database by chemical type (eg herbicide, larvicide etc) to view all registered products in a particular category. The database lists details of each registered product including its safety and use directions.
If you find an unregistered product, we encourage you to report it immediately. The APVMA can undertake enforcement actions to help protect the health and safety of people, animals, crops, the environment and Australia’s trade interests.
As a regulator, the APVMA does not provide advice on what chemical to use for a specific purpose, nor does it look in to alternatives to managing pests and diseases. Our role is to ensure agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemical products available in Australia are safe to use and effective when used according to the safety and use directions on the label.
Some other ways to find a suitable agvet chemical for your needs are:
- producer or grower groups
- registered suppliers
- registered veterinarians
- agronomists and experts.
An emergency, research, or minor use permit can be issued to use a registered agvet chemical product in a way that differs from its approved use. In some circumstances, permits can be issued for an unregistered product to be used legally for a specific purpose, under strict conditions.
If you are unable to find a registered product or one under an existing permit to suit your needs, you can apply for a permit. If a number of farmers, veterinarians or other chemical users have a similar need to yours, you may wish to contact your local producer or grower organisation, or an industry research agency, to apply for a permit on your behalf.
There are strict rules around importing agvet chemical products in to Australia.
- registered products—those with an APVMA or NRA number on the label—may be imported without applying to the APVMA for consent to import them
- unregistered products—those without an APVMA or NRA number on the label—cannot be imported unless issued an Import consent by the APVMA.
It is an offense under the Agvet Code to import unregistered products without an APVMA Import consent. This applies even when a product looks the same or similar to one already registered and available in Australia.
The APVMA does not issue Import consents for unregistered products intended for private use. Import consents are only issued in certain circumstances, such as importing an unregistered agvet product for research or emergency use and other uses as specified in the Agvet Code.
Applications for import consent must be submitted to the APVMA at least 10 business days prior to the product’s arrival in Australia.