Proposal to grant multiple use import permits for perishable goods under exceptional circumstances

Invitation to comment
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, 2010

The Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities is considering granting multiple use import permits for wildlife products listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) under the exceptional circumstances provision (section 303GB) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). This will only apply to applications received from industries dealing in wildlife products which are considered perishable goods, as listed below:

  • live plants, and
  • fresh food grade caviar.

Perishable goods are specimens, often food or plant material which are subject to decay, spoilage, or deterioration. These products require import within very short timeframes, due to their perishable nature, making it impractical to obtain import documentation prior to each shipment.

Under section 303GB (1a) of the EPBC Act the Minister or delegate may not issue a permit under exceptional circumstances unless the grant of that permit would not be contrary to CITES. Under section 1(c) in order to issue a permit under exceptional circumstances, the Minister or delegate must be satisfied that:

  • the export or import of the specimen, as the case may be, would not be contrary to the objects of this Part; and
  • exceptional circumstances exist that justify the proposed export or import of the specimen; and
  • the export or import of the specimen, as the case may be, would not adversely affect biodiversity.

The granting of these multiple use import permits does not alter the requirement for each consignment to be accompanied by an export permit issued by the CITES Management Authority of the country of export. Within two weeks of import, the original CITES export permit must be forwarded to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, along with a completed import notification form.

The public is invited to provide written comments on the proposal to issue these permits, and any comments will be taken into account in making the decision. The call for comments closed on 24 December 2010.