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Court fines company and director for importing unregistered agricultural chemical

NRA 00/8 17 July 2000

Following an investigation by the National Registration Authority for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals, a Western Australian company, 4 Farmers Pty Ltd and one of its directors, were found guilty in the Perth Magistrate's Court last week of importing an unregistered agricultural chemical product into Australia.

The company received a penalty of $20,000 and was ordered to pay costs of $2,000. The company director Mr John Firth was fined $5,000 with costs of $1,000. The company has a previous conviction for illegal importation of chemical products.

"Registration of agricultural chemical products provides a stamp of security that the products have been scientifically evaluated to ensure they do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health, worker safety, the environment or trade, and work effectively" the NRA Head of Surveillance and Enforcement, Stephen McDonald said.

"Bringing chemical products into Australia that have not been scientifically evaluated for Australian conditions presents unacceptable risks to the health of users and the environment as well as our trade with other countries. I am certain farmers and the public expect products to be properly assessed and approved prior to import into Australia."

"The product contains triadimefon which is used for the control of fungal diseases in winter cereal crops."

"The NRA is responsible for ensuring compliance of agvet products up to and including the point of retail sale and the importation of unregistered products is of considerable concern."

"Over the last three years the NRA has been focusing its surveillance activities on importation in an attempt to enforce compliance at the beginning of the distribution chain. For health and safety reasons the need for compliance when importing chemical products cannot be stressed enough" Mr McDonald said.

"The NRA actively pursues alleged breaches of the Act and the Agvet Codes," Mr McDonald said, "and will take such matters to court as necessary."

For interview and further information, please contact:

Stephen McDonald on 02 6272 4408, or Dennis O'Leary on 02 6272 3797
(now 02 6210 4700)

Note: The regulation of the quality and supply of agvet chemical products in Australia occurs through the National Registration Scheme. The NRA administers the Scheme in consultation with the States and Territories. Within the Scheme, the NRA monitors agvet chemical products and active constituents in the marketplace to ensure that they are registered and only supplied according to the provisions of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Codes.

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