What is a Registered Quarantine Place (RQP)?
A Registered Quarantine Place, or RQP, is the registration that applies to the operator of the quarantine place and is conditional on the registered operator only operating at the specified premises. The quarantine place requires approval by Biosecurity Tasmania as meeting certain biosecurity standards so that items may be stored there pending inspection by Biosecurity Tasmania.
In simple terms, if you a registered entity, RQP status means you can take your imported items directly to your place and hold them there, under secure conditions, until Biosecurity Tasmania officers have inspected and cleared them. If you are an exporter, you can have your consignment inspected and certified by Biosecurity Tasmania before it leaves the place.
Which business types may benefit by becoming an RQP?
If you are a regular or even an occasional importer of items from the mainland that are subject to inspection by Biosecurity Tasmania, it may be in your interest to become an RQP.
You may also benefit if you are an exporter that needs Biosecurity Tasmania certification for your product before it can be sent to the mainland. The range of businesses that might benefit include:
- Freight depots
- Biosecurity treatment facilities
- Post-entry biosecurity facilities for nursery stock
- Importers and exporters of fresh fruit and vegetables, animals, animal products, and other biosecurity matter
- Analytical and research laboratories
- Grain storage or processing
- Biosecurity waste storage and disposal.
What are the benefits of RQP status?
If you are a registered entity you will be able to have the items stored at your place awaiting biosecurity clearance as soon as they arrive in Tasmania. This may reduce the cost and inconvenience to your business If you are an exporter, you will be able to have your items inspected on your place. That is likely to reduce the inspection and certification process for you and that may reduce costs.
What are the disadvantages of not being an RQP?
The major disadvantage is that you will have to find an alternative place for imports or exports to be inspected by Biosecurity Tasmania. This may involve some cost and inconvenience to your business.
Are RQPs audited or inspected?
When you first apply to become an RQP, you will need to satisfy Biosecurity Tasmania that you meet the conditions necessary to become an RQP. Once you are an RQP, you will be inspected or audited annually to ensure you still meet those conditions. Biosecurity Tasmania will also carry out random audits if or as they are needed. Obviously, any enterprise found to be not meeting the conditions will, if the breach is minor, be required to correct the problem. If the problem is more serious or if there are ongoing minor problems, Biosecurity Tasmania can revoke or amend your RQP status.
How to become an RQP
There are specific criteria that you must meet to become an RQP. The standards you will need to meet will be determined by the type of item you are importing. There are ten (10) different categories for RQP registration and, within each of those categories, the conditions that have to be met to gain RQP status may vary, depending on the nature, scale etc of your enterprise. But, in general terms, the standards that must be met include, but are not restricted to:
- An inspection bench with appropriate lighting;
- A capacity to handle and store biosecurity waste (ie rejected items, packaging, pallets, effluent from wash bay, floor sweepings etc);
- Staff must be trained to maintain the biosecurity standards needed for RQP status;
- Effective pest management onsite;
- A biosecurity area where goods to be inspected are stored that is separate from the normal operations of the premise;
- Effective security measures are in place, including biosecurity signage; and
- The development and approval of an Operations Manual for your RQP
Specific requirements will apply depending on the proposed imports and biosecurity relevant to your premise. If you can meet the requirements outlined in the relevant RQP Criteria, you should then contact Biosecurity Tasmania to discuss your particular circumstances.
Apply by submitting your completed application form and Operations Manual, making sure you address the biosecurity issues covered in your discussions with Biosecurity Tasmania.
Download the RQP Application Form:
Application - Biosecurity Registration (DOC 267Kb)
There are fees levied for RQP registration. Further charges may be applied if additional premise inspections are required. Please contact Biosecurity Tasmania for the current Fee Schedule.
Re-registration is due on the anniversary of your original registration (i.e. you get the full year’s registration whenever you apply).
To submit applications and for further information please send emails to: RQP.Admin@nre.tas.gov.au or phone Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3750