Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Stringent Import freight regulations for Australia

Revised Packing & Treatment Regulations may catch out exporters
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA / RUSSIA – Shippers with goods destined for Australia are reminded to ensure they comply with the raft of new declarations for goods landing from the 1st August. Although there is a “phase in” period for annual Packing Declarations to the 1st January 2010, this will not apply to single import declarations.

The main changes, other than the issue of revised forms, some with revisions which simplify accurate completion, are the refusal to accept ISPM15 as suitable for plywood products used in packaging. In future plywood has to be treated by the same process as solid timber (pallets etc.) i.e. approved fumigation with Methyl Bromide.

Full details of the changes can be found at the foot of this page on the URL link.

In an ironic twist the regulations, principally aimed to prevent bringing in biological infections, come into force just as a principal Australian export market is hit by a veto on one of their unique cultural products.

Russia has just announced a ban on the import of kangaroo meat. Approximately 70% of all kangaroo meat has traditionally been sent to Russia and hundreds of jobs are now threatened as a result of the ban.

Russian officials state that several recent consignments were found to contain unacceptable levels of e coli bacteria and have instituted an immediate and complete cessation of imports.

AgForce, representing the state of Queensland, a principal supplier of the meat, are pressing the Governments of both countries to resolve the problem quickly. Farmers are anxious that cessation of the trade will mean a massive rise in the wild population of kangaroos leading to a reduction in water supplies, damage to crops and starvation for many of the animals.

The trade depletes the stock by 15% annually, keeping levels steady. It produces A$ 225 million a year and Australian Government trade missions have made strenuous efforts to extend the export market into China. Doubts as to whether this policy will succeed are rife in the farming communities given that nations own strict quarantine regulations.