Regulatory Update #284

20 December 2018

2018 wrap-up from our CEO

2018 has been a big year for the APVMA. We’ve improved regulatory performance, increased productivity and led the world in the approval of new products that support Australia’s agricultural productivity. In June we celebrated our 25th anniversary, and this milestone provided us with an opportunity to reflect on our achievements and set the stage for embracing future opportunities.

This year has seen significant progress in our move to Armidale, and in early 2018 we unveiled the site of our new permanent leased premises in Armidale. The new building is on track for completion in mid-2019 and will house up to 150 staff. We also finalised the expression of interest for existing staff in our Canberra satellite office, which will house around 40 specialist scientists and decision makers.

We’ve continued to improve on our operational performance, and the September 2018 quarter marked five straight quarters of improved timeframe performance, with 86 per cent of applications finalised within the statutory timeframes.

2019 will be another big year for our agency, and I look forward to reporting on our activities throughout the new year.

Wishing you all the best for the festive season,
Dr Chris Parker

Christmas and New Year trading hours

We will be closed during the Christmas and New Year period, from Tuesday 25 December 2018 to Tuesday 1 January 2019. Our offices will reopen on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

Welcome to our Director, Compliance: Steven Harris

We recently welcomed Steven Harris as our Director of Compliance.

Steven joins us from the Australian Federal Police, where his roles have included capacity development in the Pacific region, search and rescue operations and response policing.

With over 18 years in law enforcement, Steven has extensive investigations experience in international, Commonwealth and state jurisdictions, including investigating regulatory compliance breaches.

Steven is looking forward to helping build our compliance function from our Armidale office, following on from a successful year for our Compliance and Monitoring team.

Thanks to the efforts of the team under the leadership of Liz Butt, this year’s compliance and enforcement activities have resulted in a number of achievements, including:

  • 4,200 tests and ten voluntary recalls of agvet chemicals
  • 194 allegations of non-compliance received
  • The closure of 241 cases of non-compliance allegations
  • Issue of infringement notices totaling $83,200
  • Issue of seven formal warnings for suspected contraventions of legislation.

The compliance summary for 2018 is available on our website.

Request for Expressions of Interest

Our Manufacturing Quality and Licensing Team is requesting Expressions of Interest from appropriately qualified and experienced people who wish to be APVMA-authorised auditors for audits of veterinary chemical product manufacturing facilities.

Please see the REOI document and a copy of the Deed of Authorisation for further details.

Information about Good Manufacturing Practice and audits is available on our website.

The Request for Expressions of Interest closes at 2:00 pm AEDT Friday 15 February 2019.

Please direct any questions to Auditor.REOI@apvma.gov.au

RPF public consultation

The APVMA invites our clients and stakeholders to provide feedback regarding the extent to which we are meeting the six performance indicators within the Australian Government Regulator Performance Framework (RFP). The survey will take no longer than 10 minutes to complete and this is your opportunity to suggest how we may improve our regulatory performance in the future.

Consultation on proposed agvet chemical regulation changes now open

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is consulting on proposed changes to regulations for agvet chemicals regulated by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

The proposed amendments would better balance regulatory effort with risk, improve the flexibility and responsiveness of the regulatory framework and remove unnecessary restrictions. Draft measures include extending the range of applications that can be assessed as timeshift applications and broadening the range of application types that allow an active constituent to be approved with a product registration.

The proposed changes would amend the:

  • Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Regulations 1995
  • Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations 1995
  • Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Regulations 1995.

The department anticipates that further regulatory amendments, including those related to other measures in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Streamlining Regulation) Bill 2018 (such as extending data protection as an incentive to register priority uses), will follow.

More information on the proposed measures and how to make a submission is available via www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/ag-vet-chemicals/better-regulation-of-ag-vet-chemicals/streamlining/regulations-consultation. The consultation is now open and submissions must be lodged with the department no later than 5pm on Wednesday 20 February 2019.

Industry field trips

APVMA staff recently attended two field trips to industry sites located throughout Western Sydney, the Central Coast and New England regions. The purpose of the field trips was to provide our staff with an insight into the challenges faced by industry, how industry interacts with the APVMA, as well as their day-to-day processes on site.

On the Western Sydney and Central Coast field trip, staff toured a number of manufacturing, research and development and production sites, including animal health companies and vegetable producers. In the New England region, staff visited sheep and cattle producers and observed management practices including drenching and ear marking.

Our staff thoroughly enjoyed the field trips and learning about industry operations and issues, and their expectations of the APVMA.

Reminder: Open for public consultation

We are currently seeking input on the following public consultations:

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. If you would like a response, please contact us.