New Laws and controls relating to Asbestos in imported products

Increase in Asbestos monitoring procedures

Since 2003, Australia has had a zero tolerance towards the importation of products containing asbestos. However, due to an increasing number of imported products found to contain asbestos, the Australian government, through our Australian Border Force (ABF), are enforcing a much stronger control of this area. Border offences relating to Asbestos attract fines of up to $180,000 or three times the value of the goods, whichever is greater, for individuals; and for a body corporate, the same offence attracts a higher penalty of up to $900,000.

ICAL, as your customs broker, are obliged, under the ABF rules, to advise our clients about the changes made by government to Asbestos monitoring procedures.

When lodging import Customs Clearance Declarations, Customs Brokers must answer Community Protection Questions on behalf of importers. The new question “Do these goods contain asbestos?” is affecting a growing number of products. It is based both on commodity type and the country of origin.

The ABF has instructed Customs brokers to respond ‘Yes’ to the asbestos question if they have not received sufficient documentary evidence from Importers and Suppliers. If the broker answers Yes to this question “Do these goods contain asbestos?” there will be immediate intervention by the ABF and it may lead to delays, tests, and extra documentary requirements.

It’s imperative that Importers take ownership of this issue and immediately seek assurances from suppliers to ensure there is no asbestos in any imported products. It is expected that responses from suppliers will confirm that, if required, supporting documentation or certification will be provided to support the asbestos free assurance statements.

ICAL have created Asbestos Free declaration’s for our clients and their suppliers to complete once they have received assurances from their supply chain. To receive this or if you require further clarification, please contact ICAL and we will be happy to assist.