14th September 2016
As you may or may not be aware, an Australia-wide ban on the importation, manufacture and use of all types of asbestos and Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) took effect on 31 December 2003.
It is the responsibility of importers and exporters to ensure they do not import or export asbestos and ACM. It is a legislative requirement that all importers and exporters comply with the regulations governing the potential importation or exportation of asbestos or ACM.
To ensure that goods do not contain asbestos, importers and exporters are encouraged to organise sampling and testing for asbestos content prior to shipping the goods to and from Australia, and to implement regular risk assessments and quality assurance processes.
If the Australian Border Force (ABF) suspects that goods contain asbestos, the goods will be detained and examined. If sufficient documentary evidence is not supplied, the importer or exporter may be required to arrange sampling, testing and certification by an approved National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory to ensure there are no traces of asbestos. Costs related to independent inspection, testing and storage of the goods are the responsibility of the importer or exporter. If asbestos is detected, the importer or exporter of the goods may be subject to penalties or prosecution.
Attached is a template for an asbestos import declaration.
Goods that may contain asbestos
As asbestos is still used outside Australia in many applications, the following imported goods are considered high risk for containing asbestos and ACM:
• Asbestos bitumen products used to damp proof
• Asbestos rope
• Asbestos tape
• Brake linings or blocks
• Cement flat sheeting or panels
• Cement pipes, tubes or fittings
• Cement shingles or tiles (external or ceiling)
• Clutch linings or brake disc pads
• Electrical cloth and tapes
• Electrical panel partitioning
• Fire blankets
• Fire curtains
• Fire resistant building materials
• Gaskets or seals
• Heat resistant sealing or caulking compounds
• Heating equipment
• Lagging and jointing materials
• Mastics, sealants, putties or adhesives
• Mineral samples for display or therapeutic purposes
• Mixtures containing phenol formaldehyde resin or cresylic formaldehyde resin
• Motor vehicle parts such as friction materials
• Pipe spools
• Raw materials from mining activities
• Sheet vinyl backing
• Textured paints or coatings
• Yarn and thread, cords and string, whether or not plaited
Please see the attached Notice 2016/30 from Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Further information about Australia’s asbestos import/export prohibition is also located on the Department’s website at http://www.border.gov.au/Busi/Impo/Proh/Asbestos