This content is current only at the time of printing. This document was printed on 16 September 2019. A current copy is located at https://apvma.gov.au/node/246
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APVMA inspectors can issue infringement notices for alleged contraventions of agvet legislation.
Infringement notices (fines) may be issued by an APVMA inspector when they have reasonable grounds to believe that a prescribed civil penalty provision has been contravened.
The issue of an infringement notice is an efficient way of dealing with lower range offences and has the potential to reduce expense and delay that could occur with court proceedings. If the recipient of the notice pays the specified penalty, their liability for the alleged contravention is discharged. If the penalty is not paid, the matter will go to court.
If the inspector finds multiple offences, they may give an infringement notice for each contravention
An infringement notice does not mean that a conviction is recorded, and payment of an infringement notice is not an admission of guilt.
Issuing an infringement notice
An inspector can give infringement notices to an individual, business entity or corporation for alleged contraventions. Infringement notices can be given within 12 months after the date of an alleged contravention of a civil penalty provision.
The APVMA will not issue an infringement notice without first having sufficient evidence to produce a comprehensive brief in the event that court proceedings become necessary.
A recipient of an infringement notice has the right to:
- apply for extensions to pay
- make written representations to the APVMA seeking withdrawal of the notice
- choose not to pay the prescribed amount.
If the penalty is not paid, the APVMA may apply to a court for an order under section 69EJ of the Admin Act or section 145A of the Agvet Code requiring the recipient to pay the Commonwealth a financial penalty.
When paying infringement notice penalties the recipient should:
- pay the full amount within 28 days by electronic funds transfer or credit card
- avoid paying in instalments or making inaccurate or part payments. The penalty will be considered unpaid until we receive the full and correct amount.
The APVMA considers the payment of the infringement notice penalty by the recipient, as the full and final resolution of any action that might otherwise have been taken as a result of the contravening conduct.
Requesting an extension of the payment period
The recipient of an infringement notice may write to us to request more time to pay the infringement notice penalty, but this can only be done within 28 days after the date of service of the notice.
Requesting a review
If you are given an infringement notice, you may write to the APVMA and request a review. Your request will need to list reasons or evidence as to why a review should be conducted. The APVMA cannot vary an infringement notice.
Withdrawal of an infringement notice
The APVMA has discretion to withdraw an infringement notice. This may be considered if you have provided evidence of a reasonable excuse for the contravention.
If the APVMA determines that an infringement was given incorrectly or in error, we are required to withdraw the notice.