What businesses might benefit by becoming an Approved Quarantine Place?
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 Approved Quarantine Place or AQP.
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 or overseas. 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
- Analytical and research laboratories
- Grain storage or processing
- Biosecurity waste storage and disposal.
What is an AQP?
It is a place, or part of a place, that has been approved 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 are an importer, AQP 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.
What are the benefits of AQP status?
If you are an importer, you will be able to have the items stored at your place awaiting Quarantine 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 AQP?
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 AQPs audited or inspected?
When you first apply to become an AQP, you will need to satisfy Biosecurity Tasmania that you meet the conditions necessary to become an AQP. Once you are an AQP, 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 AQP status.
How to become an AQP
There are specific criteria that you must meet to become an AQP. The standards you will need to meet will be determined by the type of item you are importing. There are nine different categories for AQP registration and, within each of those categories, the conditions that have to be met to gain AQP 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 AQP 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; and
- Effective security measures are in place, including biosecurity signage.
If you can meet the standards outlined above, 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 AQP Operations Manual Template:
Download the AQP Application Form:
There are fees levied for AQP 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: AQPAdmin@nre.tas.gov.au or phone Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777