NNF 2019/224 - BMSB Risk Season Update - 9 day in !

BMSB Risk Season Update - 9 day in !

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As you are aware the BMSB 2019-20 risk season commenced 1 September 2019 and the heightened biosecurity measures will apply to:

  • certain goods manufactured in, or shipped from target risk countries, and/or
  • vessels that berth at, load or tranship from target risk countries

from 1 September 2019 and that arrive in Australian territory by 31 May 2020 (inclusive). Goods shipped between 1 September and 30 April need to be treated, and will be referred for intervention if they arrive by 31 May 2020.

Full details about the seasonal measures can be found HERE.

Inspection Group Update

We are only nine days into the BMSB risk season, and the biosecurity system appears to be challenged in the Inspections Group. Despite the Department of Agriculture (the department ) providing to the CBFCA their short and long term inspection plans, as referenced in NNF 2019/150, it appears the system is already challenged as members are experiencing longer delays in New South Wales and Victoria to secure inspection bookings at present. Other states are also reporting delays in obtaining inspection bookings.

As the BMSB volumes continue to increase from the additional target high risk countries, the CBFCA is concerned the department will struggle to cope with the demand, which will result in long delays and additional costs to industry.

The CBFCA again expressed our concerns last week at the DCCC meeting, and we will continue to support the department and the Inspections Group to delivery on their short and long term plans, which will hopefully achieve improvements to service delivery during this and future BMSB seasons.

For more information on how industry can help the department click HERE.

Assessment Group Update

The Assessment Group is also starting to be challenged as the volumes continue to increase. The CBFCA recently met with the Assistant Secretary, Assessment and Client Contact Group, and was updated on the developments of internal automation initiatives to be implemented soon, which aim to improve the assessment and processing efficiency. It will be interesting to see if the automation efficiency is enough to cope with the expected 15% to 20 % increase in shipment assessments from the additional target high risk countries. The CBFCA commends the Assessment Group for pushing for automaton to improve assessment and processing efficiency.

To assist the Assessment Group please ensure all documents are lodged correctly and in full, with sufficient time for processing. Tight timeframes may result in high volumes of LRNs to process in unrealistic timeframes and creates delays in the entire clearance process.  Allowing sufficient time for document assessment will assist with a smoother transition of goods on arrival. 

Please also note the priority of an entry will determine its place in the queue and subsequent assessment turn-around time. Early lodgement does not automatically result in early assessment outcomes. The nature of the consignment (perishable/non-perishable goods) and ETA will determine the entry priority.

For more information on how industry can assist the department, click HERE.

If you or your customs compilers that use COLS require more information on how to best utilise COLS, refer to COLS support task cards and video tutorials, full details HERE.

The CBFCA welcomes any automation in the Inspection and Assessment Groups, which is required, as we believe just putting on more resources will not necessary be viable in the future to manage the end to end biosecurity system.

We encourage you to work with the department and your import clients to gain any efficiency in the biosecurity system, which may be challenged again during this BMSB season.

Kind regards,


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