Wooden manufactured articles and laminated veneer products and articles (such as plywood and LVL) can present a range of biosecurity risks. The department’s Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) outlines the standard import conditions for wooden manufactured articles and laminated veneer products/articles. These standard conditions include a requirement for timber to be treated in accordance with one of the acceptable treatment methods before, during or after the manufacturing processes. For most treatment methods, treatments must be conducted within a specified timeframe of export. Products that meet these standard import conditions present a low level of biosecurity risks and do not require a wooden article permit (WAP) or any other import permit.
If a product does not meet the treatment requirements outlined in the standard import conditions in BICON but the importer can demonstrate that the product presents an equivalently low level of biosecurity risk the importer may apply for a WAP. This risk level may be achieved though manufacturing and handling processes.
Products eligible for WAPs
- Wooden manufactured articles
- Laminated veneer products and articles (including plywood and LVL)
- Wooden or plywood components of articles which also contain other materials
To apply for a WAP, importers must demonstrate that the products they wish to import have been manufactured and handled in a way that mitigates the biosecurity risks associated with the product. This may be through a combination of several measures such as treatments, production and handling practices. The treatment and hygiene guidelines below outline how biosecurity concerns may be adequately addressed.
The department will grant a permit if satisfied that the biosecurity risks associated with the products have been reduced to acceptably low levels.
Products not eligible for WAPs
Wooden manufactured articles and laminated veneer products and articles that cannot demonstrate that they present a sufficiently low biosecurity risk are not eligible for a WAP. These products must undergo additional treatment either offshore (as per the standard conditions) or on arrival in Australia, to adequately address biosecurity risks.
Additionally, wooden and related products that do not come under the wooden manufactured articles or veneer products and articles BICON cases are not eligible for WAPs because they present different levels of biosecurity risks.
The following wooden and related products are not eligible for WAPs and always require standard import permits:
- Artificial plants on natural stems
- Chestnut bark hoops
- Fencing and screening material derived from plants
- Grape vine articles
- Sawdust and woodchips
- Timber and timber mouldings
- Logs, log cabins and oversize timber
Wooden and related products that are not eligible for WAPS and do not require any other import permit because their manufacturing or use ensures minimal biosecurity risks are presented include:
- Bamboo products including laminates and veneered articles
- Plant derived charcoal, wood pellets and briquettes
- Cork and cork products
- Oak barrels for alcohol production
- Reconstituted wood products
WAP Application process
Import permit applications can be made by the importer, or by a customs broker or supplier on behalf of the importer. Importer, supplier and manufacturer’s details must be provided.
Follow this process to apply for a WAP:
- Check whether the product meets standard import conditions on BICON and, if not, whether a WAP is an option for the product.
- Check whether the product meets the WAP requirements: check the treatment and hygiene guidelines (below) to ensure the product meets the department’s standards for manufacturing and handling processes to mitigate biosecurity risk.
- Complete and sign a WAP questionnaire and attach it to the import permit application.
Wooden article permit questionnaire PDF [548 KB]
Wooden article permit questionnaire Word [150 KB]
- Complete a WAP application using
- search for the relevant case and answer the import scenario questions,
- check the import conditions and click on the ‘Apply now’ button at the bottom of the page,
- complete the application questions and attach the completed WAP questionnaire, and
- pay the import permit application and assessment fees and submit the application.
Phone: 1800 900 090
- Your WAP application will be assessed. If the department is satisfied that the product meets the standards set out in the treatment and hygiene guidelines and that biosecurity risks have been adequately addressed, an import permit will generally be issued within 20 business days of all required information being received.
Monitoring compliance with permit conditions
Once a WAP has been issued, most consignments imported using that permit will not be intercepted at the border by the department. However a percentage of these consignments (usually 5%) will be selected at random for documentation assessment and verification inspection in order for the department to monitor that import conditions are complied with.
The department may also request additional information and documentation at any time while the permit is valid to verify that the manufacturing and handling processes remain compliant with the department’s requirements.
WAPs are valid for 2 years, subject to compliance with the conditions stated on the import permit. It is the importers responsibility to:
Ensure all consignments comply with the conditions stated on the WAP
All consignments must comply with the conditions stated on the WAP. Non-compliances may result in the permit being revoked.
Ensure all consignments are accompanied by the necessary documentation
The importer, or broker acting on the importer’s behalf, must ensure that every consignment is accompanied by all necessary documentation. The following documents are required:
- A valid WAP or a means to identify the WAP.
- Commercial documents including bill of lading, airway bill and commercial invoice.
- Any documentation specified in the WAP.
- Any documentation required for other components of the goods (as per BICON).
Missing documentation will result in goods becoming subject to treatment or a full unpack inspection.
Notify the department of any changes to the details of the product, manufacturer, supplier or importer
For WAPs that are valid and intended for continued use, it is the importer’s responsibility (or broker, acting on behalf of the importer) to notify the department of changes to the production details, importer, supplier or manufacturer information that were provided on the original WAP application. The table below outlines the activities that the importer must undertake to make different types of changes.
|Type of change||Importer’s responsibilities|
|Change to importer details, including name, ABN, address details and point of contact.|
|Change to supplier/exporter details, including name, supplier Customs Client ID code and address details.|
|Change in the manufacturing process of the product.|
Note: additional fees will apply
|Add another product to the import permit.|
Note: additional fees will apply
Failure to notify the department of such changes may result in the permit being suspended or revoked.
Treatment and hygiene guidelines
These treatment and hygiene guidelines can be used to understand if the product meets the department’s standards for manufacturing and handling processes to mitigate biosecurity risk.
Section 1: Overarching requirements for products assessed
Section 2. Manufacturing and treatment guidelines
Plywood and veneer
Section 3: Hygiene requirements
This section outlines the requirements in which raw materials and finished products must be stored and packaged prior to shipment to Australia to prevent contamination by hitchhiker pests and other biosecurity risk material.