Anticipated Permit Application Assessment Delays – The Department

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment would like to provide an update on turnaround times for permit applications to import animal and microbial derived goods for human consumption, human therapeutic use, human cosmetic use, and ornamental goods.

As of 20 September 2021, the department is experiencing delays of several weeks to the normal permit assessment processing times.

While the department aims to process permit applications within twenty business days, as per the service charter, the process of assessing permit applications can take longer for several reasons which include but are not limited to:

  • The number of products listed on your application
  • The need to request additional information from suppliers to determine the biosecurity risk level
  • Competing priorities (such as urgent system changes and higher than normal workload volumes)

Recently, the technical teams responsible for assessing these commodities have experienced an unanticipated reduction in resources that manage these permit applications. The department is currently addressing this issue.

To help avoid further unnecessary delays, the department ask that permit applicants do the following:

Submit permit applications early. The department recommends applying for a new permit application three months prior to your previous permit expiry if you wish to continue to import the goods listed on your previous permit.

Note: The department can forward date permits by up to three months. If the assessment is completed before your current permit expires, the department can make the start date of the new permit up to three months in the future. You must inform the department if you’d like this to occur.

When submitting a new application – ensure that relevant information about your goods is supplied with the application (for example: ask your manufacturer to complete the questionnaire). Ensure that if information is requested, it is provided to the department promptly.

If you have already submitted an application and you have not provided a production questionnaire, please have the production questionnaire completed by your manufacturer and sent through to:  imports@agriculture.gov.au.

When supplying information, ensure that it meets the department’s minimum documentary and import declaration requirements policy. Often delays occur because documents provided do not meet these requirements.

High priority permit applications & exceptional circumstances

The department is willing to work with permit applicants who have made a good effort to apply early. If you believe you have a high priority permit application, please let us know the reason or exceptional circumstance and whether you would like the department to consider:

  • prioritising your permit assessment, or
  • extending an existing permit’s expiry date.

Information sourced from here.