Importing chemicals

Before an agricultural or veterinary (agvet) chemical product can be legally imported, supplied, sold, promoted or advertised in Australia, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) must register it (subject to certain exceptions).

Section 69B of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 (Cth) makes it an offence to import or arrange for importation into Australia the following: an active constituent for an agvet chemical product that is neither approved nor exempt; or, an agvet chemical product that is not registered, reserved, or exempt.

Risks of unapproved chemical products

Chemical products that are registered means they meet the safety, efficacy and trade criteria set out in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code scheduled to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 (Cth) (Agvet Code). Active constituents or chemical products that are not registered means they have not been through the APVMA’s rigorous assessment process, and they may be unsafe to use. For example, they may cause harm to humans (who handle the chemicals), animals, plants or the environment. Or, the labels may not contain appropriate safety or dosage information. 

Ensuring compliance with the legislation

Part of the APVMA’s role is to monitor and enforce compliance in the marketplace with the regulatory requirements relating to agvet chemical products, and to help manufacturers, importers and suppliers of agvet chemicals to understand such requirements.

The APVMA works closely with Commonwealth, state and territory entities to ensure there is effective coordination and communication of monitoring and compliance efforts. The APVMA also works with the Australian Border Force to intercept illegal imports of agvet chemicals.

You can view compliance and enforcement outcomes on our website.

The APVMA recognises the value of information provided by the community and facilitates online and 'free-call' reporting of suspected non-compliance. More information about how to report suspected non-compliance is available on the APVMA website.

More information

Additional information about the responsibilities of importers and suppliers is available on the APVMA website.

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