Retailer, Wholesaler or Distribution Centre - General Biosecurity Duty

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Operating or working for a retailer, wholesaler or distribution centre (DC) in Tasmania that deals with fresh fruit and vegetables, plants, seeds, animal/livestock feed, and fish and aquatic invertebrates (live, or dead for consumption or bait), means that you have an important role to play in helping to protect your business, the broader industry and the state from the impact of pests, weeds and diseases.

Listed below are some biosecurity actions you can take to meet your General Biosecurity Duty (GBD)​ and to help keep ​your business ​- and Tasmania - biosecurity safe​.

Develop a Biosecurity Plan

Developing and implementing an appropriate biosecurity plan for your business is a key step that you can take.  Biosecurity plans should contain actions aimed at preventing the introduction or spread of pests, weeds and disease on the property you manage. They are also a good way to educate staff and visitors on the importance of biosecurity. There are many on-line resources to assist with this – the Farm Biosecurity website is a great starting point.​

Important Biosecurity Actions​

Biosecurity vigilance (also known as Notification of a Biosecurity Event)​

  • If you SEE something at your site that you manage that is unusual or of biosecurity concern, such as potential exotic plant/animal pests, weeds or diseases, or invasive animal species

  • SECURE the site by restricting access (and limiting movement in the case of suspected animal diseases) AND take a photo, noting the location

  • REPORT it to Biosecurity Tasmania as soon as possible

Please note:Taking samples in the field may increase the risk of spreading the biosecurity risk so Biosecurity Tasmania will provide further instruction regarding possible sample collection and submission.

  • Create a protocol for safely and securely holding samples brought in by customers/clients that may be of biosecurity concern until Biosecurity Tasmania has been contacted and has provided further direction.

  • Create protocols and procedures for promptly removing product from sale and storing it securely and/or disposing of it appropriately with an approved provider, if directed as such by Biosecurity Tasmania, in the event of a pest or disease incursion.

  • Maintain records of incoming and outgoing products to assist Biosecurity Tasmania in trace-forward and trace-back investigations in the event of a pest or disease incursion.

  • Regularly check your facility and stock for signs of pests and diseases.

  • Clean up spills of plant material, grain, seed or similar matter to prevent infestation by store pests. Product that is still under quarantine must be disposed of in a designated quarantine bin. Lift pallets, bins or other storage equipment that stays in place for long periods to clean out any material that may become infested.

  • If your site is registered as an Approved Quarantine Place (AQP), product under biosecurity hold must be placed into a designated quarantine area and remain separate from non-quarantined stock until released. Sites not registered as AQPs are not permitted to receive product that is under biosecurity hold.

  • Check the biosecurity requirements before you import any plants or plant products, including fresh fruit and vegetables, plants, seeds, animal/livestock feed, and fish and aquatic invertebrates (live, or dead for consumption or bait, whether raw or processed). You can do this via the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania (for plants and plant products), the Biosecurity Tasmania website, or by contacting Biosecurity Tasmania.

  • Ensure that imports are accompanied by any required certificates, permits or other documentation, that labelling is accurate and clearly marked ‘for Biosecurity Tasmania attention’, and that you notify Biosecurity Tasmania of the import at least 24hrs prior to arrival where required.

  • Take all reasonable and practicable measures to ensure that any items are clean and free of soil, seeds, plant material or pests prior to arrival. All imported plants and many of their products must be presented to Biosecurity Tasmania for inspection at an Approved Quarantine Place (AQP). It is the responsibility of the importer to determine an appropriate AQP and make a booking for inspection with Biosecurity Tasmania once the AQP has confirmed they will accept the consignment.

Contact an​​​​​​d​​​ rep​orting

Contact Biosecurity Tasmania for general information or to report a suspected pest, weed or disease:

Phone: (03) 6165 3777


Alternatively, for reporting pests, weeds or diseases, you can call:

  • Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881) 
  • Emergency Animal Disease Hotline (1800 675 858)

​Helping staff to meet their GBD and 'See it. Secure it. Report it.'

​Ensure that your staff understand their General Biosecurity Duty, and report any suspicious produce diseases, insects or stowaway pests to Biosecurity Tasmania. To assist staff in being able to identify, secure and report pests and diseases, the poster below can be used in the staff room or warehouse to help guide staff through the reporting process (please note: poster is not designed to be public facing for customers, it is for ‘back of store’ purposes only).

 BT Retail Poster (PDF 624Kb)​

BT Retail Poster 

Stay up to date on biosecurity in​​ Tasmania

Subscribing to get Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisories is the best way you can keep yourself up-to-date and fully informed about Tasmanian biosecurity issues. Our Advisories cover topics such as changes or proposed changes to Tasmania’s import regulations, animal health and welfare, plant health, forthcoming regulation reviews and opportunities for public comment, new or emerging pest/disease risks and a range of other matters related to Tasmania’s biosecurity.

Follow Biosecurity Tasmania on Facebook​.

Please note that this information contains minimum recommendations only. The GBD requires a person dealing with biosecurity matter or a carrier to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk associated with the dealing. Such measures may not be specified in any regulations, guidelines or other official publications.