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Regulator Acts on Unregistered Parallel Imports

Date: 8 July 2009
Ref: 2009/09

Two Australian companies have learnt the hard way that importing chemical products without checking their safety or suitability to the Australian marketplace is against the law.

These companies imported cans of fly spray intended for an overseas market into Australia. The products were not registered here and therefore had not been assessed to establish whether they were safe for people, animals or the environment.

As a consequence the products were seized with the companies concerned being required to pay around $75,000 to recall the cans from discount stores, store them and then return them to their country of manufacture.

‘All agricultural and veterinary chemical products imported for sale in Australia must satisfy the Australian regulator that they can be used safely,’ Mr Neville Matthew, spokesperson for the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) said today.

‘The registration of a product in an overseas market is no assurance of its safety or suitability to the Australian marketplace’ Mr Matthew said.

While in this instance the product matter related to household insect spray, similar imports may be occurring in the broader pest control market.

‘Discount outlets are warned to ensure all pesticides and similar products they import for sale are registered in Australia by the APVMA.’

The APVMA will continue to liaise with individual importers and the Customs Brokers Association to ensure that everyone understand the risks associated with importing unregistered products.

Registration by the APVMA confirms for consumers that the product is safe and effective and contains appropriate health and safety directions.  Unregistered products offered for sale can be recalled and companies can commit offences that can lead to significant fines.

ENDS

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
Email: communications@apvma.gov.au

Download the PDF version: Regulator Acts On Unregistered Parallel Imports (PDF, 21kb)

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