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Quarantine Amendment Proclamation 2012 (No. 2)

Authoritative Version
  • - F2012L01827
  • No longer in force
Proclamations/Other as made
This Proclamation amends the Quarantine Proclamation 1998 to allow certain low risk items that are imported in high volumes to be imported into Australia without requiring an import permit and reduces the administrative burden in managing detained goods and complaint handling and also reduces interventions with incoming air and sea passengers, mail articles and air and sea cargo consignments which previously required inspection and seizure or treatment.
Administered by: Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Made 30 Aug 2012
Registered 03 Sep 2012
Tabled HR 10 Sep 2012
Tabled Senate 10 Sep 2012
Date of repeal 19 Jul 2013
Repealed by

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

Issued by Authority of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

 

Quarantine Act 1908

 

Quarantine Amendment Proclamation 2012 (No. 2)

 

Legislative Authority

 

Section 13 of the Quarantine Act 1908 (the Act) provides that the Governor-General may, by proclamation, declare or prohibit a range of matters including prohibiting the importation into Australia of any disease or pest or any substance containing any disease or pest, any articles or things likely to introduce, establish or spread any disease or pest, or any animals, plants or other goods.

 

Subsection 13(2) of the Act provides that the power of prohibition extends to authorise prohibition generally, or as otherwise provided by the instrument authorising the prohibition, including prohibition either absolutely or subject to specified conditions or restrictions. Subsection 13(2A) of the Act provides that a Proclamation made under subsection 13(1) of the Act may provide that the importation of a thing is prohibited unless a permit for its import is granted by a Director of Quarantine.

 

Purpose

 

The purpose of the Quarantine Amendment Proclamation 2012 (No. 2) (the Amendment Proclamation) is to allow low risk, high volume items containing ingredients of animal origin that are commercially prepared and packaged and intended for the personal use of the importer, to be imported into Australia without requiring an import permit. The newly permitted items include mayonnaise, beef jerky and various dairy items. The Proclamation would reduce the administrative burden in managing detained goods, complaint handling and interventions with incoming air and sea passengers and mail in relation to low risk, high volume items which require inspection and seizure or treatment.

 

Background

 

The Quarantine Proclamation 1998 (the 1998 Proclamation) is made under section 13 of the Act and deals primarily with things (including any goods) that cannot be imported into Australia, and restrictions on the movement of things within Australia.

 

Part 6 of the 1998 Proclamation deals with animal quarantine and provides that imports are prohibited without an import permit unless otherwise specified in the 1998 Proclamation.

 

Subsection 38(1) of the 1998 Proclamation provides that the importation into Australia of a dead animal or animal part (except an animal or part to which subsection 38(2) applies) is prohibited unless a Director of Quarantine has granted a permit to import the animal or part into Australia. Subsection 38(2) of the 1998 Proclamation applies to the animals or animal parts mentioned in the items in table 13 and which comply with any of the restrictions or conditions set out in those items.


 

Subsection 40(1) of the 1998 Proclamation provides that the importation into Australia of a dairy product (except a dairy product to which subsection 40(2) applies), whether for human consumption or not, is prohibited unless a Director of Quarantine has granted a permit to import the dairy product into Australia. Subsection 40(2) of the 1998 Proclamation provides a list of dairy products which do not require an import permit, provided they are not intended to be used for stockfood.

 

Subsection 41(1) of the 1998 Proclamation provides that the import of egg products and goods that include egg or an egg product among their ingredients, whether for human consumption or not, is prohibited unless a Director of Quarantine has granted a permit to import the goods or things into Australia or a permit is not required as set out in subsection 41(2). Subsection 41(2) provides a list of egg products that do not require an import permit.

 

Impact and Effect

 

The Amendment Proclamation amends section 3, section 38, table 13 and subsections 40(2) and 41(2) of the 1998 Proclamation to allow low risk, high volume items containing ingredients of animal origin that are commercially prepared and packaged and intended for the personal use of the importer, without requiring an import permit. The Amendment Proclamation reduces the current administrative burden in managing interactions with passengers (air and sea) and senders of mail, detained goods and complaint handling in relation to low risk, high volume items which currently require inspection and seizure or treatment.

 

Consultation

 

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) Animal and Plant Biosecurity Divisions provided risk assessment advice confirming that the Amendment Proclamation is required due to the low biosecurity risk presented by the identified items.

 

The Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing (OLDP) and the DAFF Legal Services Coordination Unit were consulted in the development of the legislative instrument.

 

The Office of Best Practice Regulation was consulted in the preparation of the Amendment Proclamation (ID 13832).

 

The Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights is contained in the Attachment.

 

Operation

 

Details of the Quarantine Amendment Proclamation 2012 (No. 2) are set out below.

 

Section 1 – Name of Proclamation

 

This Section provides for the name of the Amendment Proclamation to be the Quarantine Amendment Proclamation 2012 (No. 2).

 


 

Section 2 – Commencement

 

This Section provides for the Amendment Proclamation to commence on the day after it is registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

 

Section 3 – Amendment of Quarantine Proclamation 1998

 

This Section provides for Schedule 1 to amend the Quarantine Proclamation 1998.

 

Schedule 1 – Amendments

 

Items 1 and 2 insert new definitions for ‘Agriculture Department’ and ‘Agriculture Minister’ in section 3 of the 1998 Proclamation.

 

Agriculture Department means the Department administered by the Agriculture Minister.

 

Agriculture Minister means the Minister who administers the 1998 Proclamation in relation to matters relating to animal and plant quarantine.

 

Item 3 inserts a new definition for ‘DAFF FMD Approved Country List’ in section 3 of the 1998 Proclamation.

 

The DAFF foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) Approved Country List means the list that is published on the Agriculture Department website of countries that the Secretary is satisfied is free from FMD.

 

The item includes a notation of the DAFF website address: www.daff.gov.au.

 

Item 4 omits the words ‘and animal tissues (including fish) if:’ and insert ‘, animal tissues (including fish) and animal excretions, if:’ under table 13, item 1 of section 38 of the 1998 Proclamation.

 

The amendment broadens the exception under item 4A, table 13 of section 38 of the 1998 Proclamation, allowing for the importation of animal excretions (in particular, elephant dung), provided they are completely embedded in resin and are only for the purpose of display. When completely embedded in resin and for display purposes only, these products, including elephant dung, do not present an animal biosecurity risk.

 

Item 5 omits the word ‘Prawns’ and inserts the words ‘Dried prawns’ in table 13, item 20 of section 38 of the 1998 Proclamation.

 

The amendment corrects a typographical error following the finalisation of the Generic Import Risk Analysis Report for Prawns and Prawn Products ­ Final Report, October 2009.

 

Item 6 inserts a new item 20A after item 20 of table 13 to section 38 of the 1998 Proclamation to allow the importation of prawn-based food products without requiring an import permit, provided they are shelf stable and for the personal consumption of the importer. Shelf stable prawn-based food products include canned prawns or condiments containing prawns as an ingredient (e.g. prawn balachan and shrimp paste).

This amendment reflects the findings of the Generic Import Risk Analysis Report for Prawns and Prawn Products ­ Final Report, October 2009 which concluded that quarantine measures were not required for shelf stable prawn-based food products.

 

The 1998 Proclamation defines a product as shelf stable if the product:

-          has been commercially manufactured;

-          has been packaged by the manufacturer;

-          is in that package and has not been opened or broken;

-          is able to be stored in the package at room or ambient temperature; and

-          does not require refrigeration or freezing before the package is opened.

 

Item 7 inserts a new item 25D after item 25C of table 13 to section 38 of the 1998 Proclamation to allow the importation of non-salmonid finfish and finfish products without requiring an import permit, provided they are able to be stored at room or ambient temperature (the temperature of the surroundings), do not require refrigeration or freezing before the package is opened and are for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import the products.

 

Non-salmonid finfish and finfish products include anchovies, whitebait and other finfish.

 

Item 8 inserts new items 29A, 29B and 29C into table 13 of section 38 of the 1998 Proclamation within the ‘Miscellaneous products of animal origin’ section of the table.

 

New item 29A of table 13 allows consignments of luwak coffee in any form, (including whole beans, ground, or for instant use) if the beans, or the beans from which the product is made have been roasted, the product is commercially prepared and packaged, is imported in an amount not more than one kilogram or one litre and is for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import the product.

 

This amendment allows the importation of consignments of luwak coffee (e.g. kopi luwak or civet coffee) without requiring an import permit if it complies with the restrictions outlined above.

 

New item 29B of table 13 allows consignments of soup to be imported without an import permit provided the product is shelf stable, commercially prepared and packaged and for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import it.

 

New item 29C of table 13 allows the importation of consignments of kopi luwak without an import permit if it is completely embedded in resin and intended for the purpose of display only.

 

The requirements under 29A and 29C differ as kopi luwak must either be imported for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import it or embedded in resin and for the purposes of display.

 

Items of biological origin completely embedded in resin or plastic for personal use and intended for display purposes do not pose a risk to plant health. This includes kopi luwak, which presents a low animal biosecurity risk if completely embedded in resin and imported for display purposes. This product is also not intended for human consumption and therefore is not subject to food safety regulations.

 

Item 9 inserts a new item 31B after item 31A of table 13 to section 38 of the 1998 Proclamation to allow the importation of pate, whether containing egg or not, provided the product is shelf stable, and imported in an amount not more than one kilogram or one litre and is for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import the product.

 

The amendment provides a separate listing for pate which may contain egg and would otherwise be covered by the 10 per cent rules in subsection 41(2). An import permit is not required for goods which contain less than 10 per cent by weight of egg or an egg product. This corrects a difficulty in applying these rules to pate, for example, with egg hermetically sealed, or unspecified egg content, where it is difficult to determine the percentage egg content.

 

Similar amendments have also been made to other products in items 16 and 17 below.

 

Item 10 substitutes item 34 of table 13 to section 38 of the 1998 Proclamation with an amended item for commercially prepared meat floss.

 

The amendment retains the requirement that commercially prepared meat floss must be for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import the product but removes the requirement that it contain no discernible meat portions.

 

While meat floss is very finely shredded, it is difficult to say it does not contain discernible pieces of meat, therefore making the requirement impossible to comply with. Once prepared, meat floss is a consumer-ready product which would generate very little, if any, waste. Removal of the words ‘if without discernible meat portions’ is therefore required to allow the import of meat floss that is commercially prepared and packaged and for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import the product.

 

Item 11 inserts a new item 38 after item 37 of table 13 to section 38 of the 1998 Proclamation to include beef jerky that is shelf stable, imported in an amount up to one kilogram, manufactured in a country on the DAFF FMD Approved Country List and for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import the product.

 

The amendment allows the importation of beef jerky without an import permit if it complies with the restrictions outlined above. These restrictions apply to ensure protection against significant viral pathogens of concern, including FMD. A one kilogram restriction would also ensure that the product is only being imported for personal consumption.

 

The new reference to ‘DAFF Approved Country List’ is defined at item 3 and discussed below at item 12.

 

Item 12 substitutes paragraph 40(2)(g) with a new paragraph for commercially prepared and packaged dairy products.

 

The amendment removes the words ‘recognised by the Office International des Epizooties as free from foot-and-mouth disease’ and inserts the words ‘on the DAFF FMD Approved Country List’.

 


 

The reference to the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) has been replaced with the DAFF FMD Approved Country List, which is reflected on the DAFF Import Conditions Database (ICON). The countries listed on the DAFF FMD Approved Country List are assessed for their FMD status. This assessment takes into account a country’s OIE FMD status but does not automatically accept a declaration to the OIE that a country is free from FMD until DAFF independently assesses and verifies this information. DAFF also takes into account the country’s overall animal health status and animal production, inspection and certification systems including the ability of the competent authority to prevent FMD outbreaks. In the event of an outbreak, DAFF would be able to update this list immediately to reflect the outbreak rather than relying on OIE updates, which may not meet DAFF’s requirements.

 

Item 13 substitutes paragraph 40(2)(i) with a new paragraph for personal consignments of cheesecakes, and cooked cakes containing dairy fillings or toppings.

 

The amendment removes the words ‘recognised by the Office International des Epizooties as free from foot-and-mouth disease’ and inserts the words ‘on the DAFF FMD Approved Country List’.

 

The purpose of the amendment is as outlined above at item 12.

 

Item 14 omits the word ‘coffee’ from subparagraph 40(2)(j)(i) of the 1998 Proclamation and inserts the words ‘coffee, tea’.

 

The amendment includes tea as an ingredient of a dairy-based powdered beverage that is exempt under subparagraph 40(2)(j)(i) from the requirement of an import permit.

 

The amendment corrects a drafting error from the previous amendment to the 1998 Proclamation.

 

Item 15 omits the word ‘it.’ with a full stop from subparagraph 40(2)(j)(iv) and inserts the word ‘it;’ with a semi-colon.

 

The typographical amendment allows the subsection to continue with new paragraphs, as outlined below at item 16.

 

Item 16 inserts new paragraphs (k), (l) and (m) in subsection 40(2) of the 1998 Proclamation, which contains a list of dairy products exempt from the requirement of an import permit.

 

New paragraph 40(2)(k) includes protein powders and supplements (with or without enzymes or egg proteins) that are commercially prepared and packaged,  manufactured in a country on the DAFF FMD Approved Country List and for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import the product.

 


 

 

This amendment provides a separate listing for protein powders and supplements containing egg, dairy or meat ingredients which would otherwise be covered by the generic requirements of the 1998 Proclamation, for example, the 10 per cent rules (subsection 41(2)) or other exceptions applying to dairy products in subsection 40(2). The new listing in subsection 40(2) will apply, allowing the importation of protein powders for personal use to be permitted without an import permit regardless of whether they contain enzymes or egg proteins, provided they are commercially prepared and packaged and are sourced from a country on the DAFF FMD Approved Country List.

 

These products will also no longer be covered by the general prohibition on the importation of animal enzymes and microbial enzymes in table 11, items 2 and 21 of section 27 of the 1998 Proclamation.

 

New paragraph 40(2)(l) includes a dairy product that is manufactured in a country not listed on the DAFF FMD Approved Country List, is shelf stable, imported in an amount not more than one kilogram or one litre, imported for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import the product and not prohibited by a notice on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website.

 

This amendment allows the importation of dairy products without an import permit, if they comply with the restrictions outlined above.

 

Dairy products in this paragraph include powdered dairy (e.g. Horlics, milk powder, Milo), Indian dairy sweets, such as gulab jamun (an Indian dessert made mostly of milk solids), dairy based sweets and dulce de leche (a milk caramel common in Latin America).

 

New paragraph 40(2)(m) includes personal consignments of dairy products that are infant food and shelf stable; manufactured in a country not listed on the DAFF FMD Approved Country List and is for the personal use of infants under the care of the person wishing to import it. If the consignment is accompanied into Australia by the person importing it, it must be in an amount not more than five kilograms or not more than five litres as per subsection 40(2)(m)(v)(A), allowing, for example, families enough formula to cover the duration of their holiday. If the consignment is not accompanied by the person importing it, it must be in an amount not more than one kilogram or not more than one litre as per subsection 40(2)(m)(v)(B), which is intended to deter importation for any use other than feeding an infant (also consistent with amendments for shelf stable dairy products above).

 

The general exception relating to infant food in subsection 40(2)(b) continues to apply.

 

Item 17 inserts new items 7, 8 and 9 after item 6 of subsection 41(2) of the 1998 Proclamation to include items of eggs and egg products which are exempt from the requirement of an import permit.

 

New item 7 includes egg waffles that are shelf stable and for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import the product.

 


 

The amendment provides a separate listing for egg waffles which would otherwise be covered by the 10 per cent rules in subsection 41(2). This corrects a difficulty in applying these rules to egg waffles, including egg puffs, eggettes and Gai Daan Jai, where it is difficult to determine the percentage egg content and allows these goods to be imported without an import permit if they comply with the restrictions above.

 

New item 8 includes processed egg products (excluding whole eggs) that are shelf stable, imported in an amount not more than one kilogram or one litre and are for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import the product.

 

The amendment provides a separate listing for processed egg products which would otherwise be covered by the 10 per cent rules in subsection 41(2). This corrects a difficulty in applying these rules to processed egg products such as mayonnaise, pate (with egg hermetically sealed/unspecified egg content) and retorted egg products (in an unopened, hermetically sealed container that has been heated for a time, and to a temperature, sufficient to make the content commercially sterile), where it is difficult to determine the percentage of egg content and allows these goods to be imported without an import permit, if they comply with the restrictions above.

 

New item 9 includes a listing for whole eggs that are canned, shelf stable and imported in an amount not more than one kilogram or not more than one litre and are for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import the product.

 

The amendment allows the importation of whole eggs without requiring an import permit, provided they comply with the restrictions above.

 

The amendment includes, for example, whole quail or duck eggs which are canned and must have been heat treated to ensure shelf stability, but excludes whole eggs prepared in other ways, such as hard boiled or alkalised eggs.


 

 

ATTACHMENT

 

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Quarantine Amendment Proclamation 2012 (No. 2)

This Legislative Instrument is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

Overview of the Legislative Instrument

This Legislative Instrument amends section 3, section 38, table 13 and subsections 40(2) and 41(2) of the Quarantine Proclamation 1998 to remove the import permit requirement for specific items of animal origin imported for personal use.

 

This Legislative Instrument allows low risk, high volume items containing ingredients of animal origin that are commercially prepared and packaged and intended for the personal use of the importer, to be imported into Australia without requiring an import permit. The Legislative Instrument reduces the administrative burden in managing interactions with passengers (air and sea) and senders of mail, detained goods and complaint handling in relation to low risk, high volume items which currently require inspection and seizure or treatment.

 

Human rights implications

This Legislative Instrument does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

 

Conclusion

This Legislative Instrument is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

 

Senator the Hon. Joseph William Ludwig

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry