Alerts provide information about significant changes to import conditions. Keep informed of alerts by following individual import cases.
Temporary changes to document requirements for imports of animals, biological and animal based goods
Effective from 10 April 2020
Who does this alert affect:
Importers of animals, biological and animal based goods.
This temporary change is relevant to the use of original paper health certificates (HCs). It does not apply to countries that already provide original HCs in electronic format.
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the movement of airfreight and courier mail in multiple countries.
This has led some exporting country Competent Authorities to advise the department that they are unable to provide original paper-based HCs with import consignments of animals, biological and animal based goods.
Where an importer has previously supplied an original paper HC from the exporting country Competent Authority but is now unable to do so as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the department’s biosecurity officers will accept an electronic copy of the HC as lodged by customs brokers through our standard lodgement process.
Our biosecurity officers may in some cases request verification of documentation directly from the exporting country Competent Authority or use an online tool provided by that authority to authenticate documents.
This temporary arrangement will be in place until 30 June 2022. Stakeholders will be notified of any extension to this arrangement closer to this date.
The department will pursue any evidence of fraudulent documentation as per our standard practice.
If the department requires verification of documentation, biosecurity officers will:
Eligibility for interim arrangements:
To be eligible, your import consignment must meet the following conditions:
If you have questions or need further information, you can contact our Import Services team on:
Also visit the department’s COVID-19 information hub for current information and advice on changes to our services due to COVID-19.