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Regulator Acts on Illegal Chemical Imports

Date: 10 September 2009
Ref: 2009/10

‘Concerns recently expressed by the general manager of a West Australian chemical company that small amounts of agricultural chemicals are occasionally illegally imported into Australia may have some foundation,’ Mr Neville Matthew, spokesperson for the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority said today.

‘Our intelligence sources advise us that from time to time there are a number of unscrupulous operators opportunistically seeking to circumvent Australia’s tough regulatory system’.

‘Australian chemicals laws are designed to protect human health, trade relationships and the environment,’ he said.

‘All agricultural chemicals intended for sale in Australia must undergo a scientific assessment process to verify that they can be safely used.’

‘Only approved chemicals can be imported from overseas and those that are imported
into Australia must also meet specified quality standards’. 

‘These laws are enforced. In the last five years, in Western Australia alone, the APVMA has intervened on approximately 90 occasions to ensure compliance with these laws’, he said.

‘Some of these interventions involved cases of illegal importation.’

‘Significant financial penalties can be applied for breaches of these laws,’ Mr Matthew noted.

Companies that are approached to purchase cheap chemicals from overseas should exercise due diligence and call the APVMA Compliance Hot Line on 1300 700 315 during business hours if they have any concerns.


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: Regulator Acts on Illegal Chemical Imports (PDF, 21kb)