Proof of concept trial of new arrangements for imported cargo – additional pilots and key insights
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is working directly with several import businesses to test whether their systems and supply chain controls could be used to manage biosecurity risk.
Following an open expression of interest process, the companies chosen to participate in pilots under this proof-of-concept trial were:
- KMART Australia Pty Ltd
- FTA Food Solutions Pty Ltd
- Becton Dickinson Australia
- Stora Enso Australia Pty Ltd (Wood Products)
Three additional pilots are now underway with:
- John Deere Pty Ltd
- Ball Australia Pty Ltd
- Amazon Commercial Services Pty Ltd
If successful, the trial will lead to the establishment of a trust-based biosecurity risk management scheme for importers, or essentially `green lane’ style arrangements that will:
- reduce regulatory intervention and costs for highly compliant importers who already invest heavily in commercial quality assurance arrangements;
- allow for biosecurity risks to be identified and mitigated early in supply chain, before goods are shipped to Australia;
- lessen border congestion, providing downstream benefits for other importers and the wider community, helping to drive business growth and job creation; and
- enable departmental resources to be redirected to areas of greater need.
This initiative is delivering on our Commonwealth Biosecurity 2030 plan by partnering with industry to inform border operations and strengthen our biosecurity system.
Each pilot is being designed with the companies based on detailed mapping of their systems, data and supply chain assurance mechanisms against biosecurity controls and risk trigger points. This activity captures the people, regulations, systems, and processes involved from product selection to export and logistics on arrival in Australia, including for both commodity and non-commodity risks. Other government and industry accreditations held by each importer are also considered, as well as non-biosecurity related regulatory controls or industry standards they are required to meet. The pilots are being run in parallel to current biosecurity arrangements.
Observations to date include:
- Pilot participants invest considerable time and money to ensure biosecurity and imported food requirements are met to avoid delays at the border and to satisfy customers who rely on the protection biosecurity provides.
- The current transactional biosecurity management model does not always recognise this effort, or the importer’s past compliance, with consignments treated as if they are the very first to arrive every time.
- Participant assurance controls are often well established and documented, and could be leveraged to manage biosecurity risk.
- The trial model is scalable and agile enough to apply to different business models, supply chains and cargo entry channels.
- Potential exists for the department to directly source industry supply chain data, saving importers time and money from having to prepare and provide information to the department.
- Importers are choosing to make further changes to embed biosecurity management within their business and improve end-to-end resilience.
These insights are informing the design of new green lane arrangements.
While the pilots were progressing, the department continued to engage with the importers that applied but were not selected for a pilot. This engagement led to the trial being extended and the number of pilots increased for a broader coverage of supply chain models.
Despite scheduling slippages due to business disruptions from COVID-19, the trial is well underway with three pilots completed. The remaining four pilots are expected to be completed by May with the trial ceasing in June 2022.
Work to operationalise the new arrangements is continuing with successful pilot participants expected to transition to a green lane over April to June 2022.
Further information on the application and assessment process will be released in the coming months, in anticipation of broader roll out of the program from the first quarter of 2022-23.
The department will continue to consult with industry as this occurs, noting the new arrangements will not suit all businesses as it requires the importer to have sufficient visibility and control over their supply chains.
For further information on the Trial, email the Biosecurity Operations Industry Partnerships and Engagement team at email@example.com.