International participation

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has a strong reputation for being at the fore of new global developments, innovations and best practice methodologies. We do this by building and maintaining international relationships with counterpart organisations and experts. Specifically, we:

  • engage with international agencies
  • adopt international guidelines when they are suitable for an Australian context
  • are party to agreements with comparable overseas regulatory agencies.

The APVMA participates in international working groups dealing with a range of regulatory issues involving pesticides and veterinary medicines, including, but not limited to: 

International Cooperation on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products (VICH)

VICH (International Cooperation on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products) is a trilateral (European Union–Japan–United States) program that was established under the auspices of the World Organisation for Animal Health to harmonise technical requirements for veterinary product registration. Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa have observer status on VICH. The use of globally harmonised registration requirements minimises the use of test animals and the cost of product development and increases the availability of veterinary medicine products in Australia.

Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues

The Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) provides independent, expert scientific advice to the Codex Alimentarius Commission and its specialist committee on pesticide residues, the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR). The Codex Alimentarius Commission develops international food standards and guidelines, with the aim of protecting consumer health, ensuring fair trade practices and promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by government and non-government organisations.

In addition to its role in international standing-setting for pesticides, the JMPR also develops scientific guidelines on the interpretation of toxicological studies and advances pesticide risk assessment methodologies.

The toxicological and residues monographs published by the JMPR are an important source of information for the APVMA.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The APVMA participates in various activities of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) including:

Working Party on Pesticides

The Working Party on Pesticides is a committee that directs and oversees the work of the OECD Agricultural Pesticide Programme that encompasses agricultural pesticides. It is composed of government officials from OECD member countries, representatives from the European Commission and other international organisations, observers from the pesticide industry, and public interest non-governmental organisations.

The Pesticide Programme has 3 main objectives:

  • To help OECD governments share the work of pesticide registration and re-registration – the licensing of new products and re-licensing of old ones
  • To harmonise the data and methods used to test and assess pesticide risks
  • To help OECD governments reduce the risks associated with pesticide use

Working Group on Biocides

The Working Group on Biocides manages the work of the Biocide Programme, including non-agricultural pesticides, and reports directly to the Chemicals and Biotechnology Committee.

Expert Group on BioPesticides

The OECD Expert Group on BioPesticides Seminar on Bioinformatics and Regulation of Microbial Pesticides was organised to present and discuss the potential use of genome sequences, bioinformatic tools and databases in a regulatory decision process for microbials, as well as to initiate a dialogue on how this new technology can enrich the toolbox of evaluators for microbials.

OECD Network on Illegal Trade of Pesticides

The OECD Network on Illegal Trade of Pesticides was developed with the aim of providing best practices for tackling the issue of illegal pesticides, and raising awareness among members and partners of the issue of illegal pesticides at different parts of the chain; in turn, facilitating regulatory authorities to take more effective action against illegal pesticides.

Expert Group on Electronic Exchange of Pesticide Data

The main objective of the Expert Group on Electronic Exchange of Pesticide Data is to identify and address hurdles that hinder the efficient collection and exchange of pesticides information due to incompatible formats or IT systems. This includes identifying and documenting government and industry best practices that would facilitate the electronic exchange of structured data and documents. The group also aims to harmonise methodologies for submitting documents to regulators using a common transport mechanism and submitting pesticide information in a structured, machine-readable format.

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