April 24 - According to statements received from Australian forwarders Freightplus and Skelton Sherborne, the Australian AQIS / DAFF Biosecurity teams have warned that used machinery is being imported contaminated with unacceptable levels of Biosecurity R

A notice has been issued for all importers who import used machinery into Australia and anybody sending heavy mchinery to Australia to that effect, warning that used machinery can pose a high biosecurity risk if it is contaminated with BRM such as soil, animal or plant material.

If machinery arrives in a heavily contaminated state, DAFF Biosecurity advises that it can order the machine to be exported from Australia at the importer's or owner's expense.

In 2012, DAFF Biosecurity has already directed eight consignments to be exported from Australia due to excessive contamination. This is the same number of export directions that were issued in all of 2011.

Importers are responsible for ensuring all machinery is adequately cleaned offshore prior to shipment. Machinery may require dismantling to be effectively cleaned. Import conditions require all machinery and parts to be free from BRM. If import conditions are breached, the import permit may be revoked.

A number of resources are in place to help importers ensure that their machinery meets Australia's biosecurity requirements. The DAFF Biosecurity website contains information on permits, import conditions, cleaning guides for specific machine types and tips on common problems incurred such as contamination during transport.

Visit the website at www.daff.gov.au/aqis/import/vehicles-machinery/regulations.

A new brochure on importing used machinery into Australia has been developed and will be published on the website in the coming weeks. Printed copies will also be available at DAFF Biosecurity Regional Offices.

For more information on this issue please contact the DAFF Biosecurity Machinery and Military Programme.