Department of Agriculture COVID-19 Updates for Australian Used Equipment Importers will affect all Customs Brokers, Importers, Biosecurity Industry Participants, and food importers who have premises that departmental officers may attend (for inspections, audits, surveillance or other purposes).
Due to the ongoing and increased prevalence of COVID-19 across Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales, the department’s ability to meet its service standards for inspection bookings in these states will be impacted over the next four to six weeks at a minimum. This is driven by the impacts of COVID-19 across the department’s workforce Delays can be expected.
The increased prevalence of COVID-19 in the community that is disrupting delivery of the department’s regulatory functions, and known to be impacting the operations of industry. As a result, inspection appointments are constantly having to be cancelled, re-shuffled and rescheduled, often at very short notice. Our inspection resources are also being impacted by isolation requirements.
These are all challenging times for all and while we expect these delays to continue for some time, we will monitor the situation and provide further advice if things change.
The department’s focus continues to be on the safety and wellbeing of its workforce, and the industry participants it is physically engaging with, while ensuring the effective delivery of its regulatory functions which cannot be compromised. This includes adhering to public health requirements of the states and territories, and ensuring our officers are vaccinated where this is mandated.
The department is unable to selectively identify inspection officers to satisfy requirements of entry imposed by some Third Party Premises, such as not residing in an area of concern or being fully vaccinated (where public health orders don’t require).
The department continues to assess its ability to meet service standards and where necessary will implement business continuity arrangements.
Biosecurity Industry Participants are reminded of their obligations to notify the department if any of their staff (or visitors to their premises) test positive for COVID-19 as per Import Industry Advice Notice 159-2021. The department is similarly informing industry participants where its officers have tested positive to COVID-19. The department will engage industry participants should there be any change to reporting requirements.
For further general information about this Import Industry Advice Notice, please contact the department on 1800 900 090.
If you have been impacted by state government advice and are unable to maintain your scheduled import inspection appointment with the department, please contact us on 1800 900 090 or email the relevant import booking queue to advise of cancellation of the appointment.
For urgent information relating to this notice, please email email@example.com making sure to include “COVID NOTIFICATION – [STATE/TERRITORY]” in the subject field of the email.
For further information about this notice or the impact of COVID-19 on imports and biosecurity services more broadly, please contact us on 1800 900 090 or visit our the DAWE website at Imports and COVID-19.