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Regulator Warns of the Risks of Unregistered Imports

18 February 2009

Ref: 2009/03

‘Consumers need to exercise caution in buying low price chemical products through discount variety stores as they may not be registered for sale and use in Australia ,’ Mr Neville Matthew, Program Manager (Regulatory Strategy and Compliance) with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) said today.

‘In Sydney last Friday compliance officers from the APVMA seized around 15,000 cans of unregistered insect sprays that had been imported into Australia.’

‘These products had not been registered by the APVMA and had therefore not been subject to the rigorous scientific evaluations that ensure compliance with Australian standards of quality and safety,’ he said.

‘As a consequence, these products lacked appropriate labeling for the Australian market, including warnings and safety and use directions.’

Although certain products may be available for supply in overseas markets, every product sold in Australia must first be assessed to ensure Australian consumers are appropriately protected.

People cannot be assured of safety or efficacy when a product developed for one market is imported into another market as regulatory standards may differ.

Products registered for use in Australia have the acronym NRA or APVMA followed by a series of numbers on the product label. The presence of these letters and numbers assures consumers that the product has been assessed and is safe to use if used according to label instructions.

Consumers can search for registered products on the APVMA website (


For further information, contact:

Media Inquiries

Dr Simon Cubit
A/g Program Manager, Regulatory Strategy and Compliance

Phone: +61 2 6210 4869
Mob: 0417 342 251
Fax: +61 2 6210 4813

Download the PDF version: Media Release - Regulator Warns of the Risks of Unregistered Imports (PDF, 39kb).