Australian Border Force Steps in over Potential Asbestos Importations

ON JULY 19, the Australian Border Force (ABF) executed several warrants in answer to the suspected import of Chinese building products containing asbestos. 

ABF investigators seized digital and physical evidence from Yuanda Australia and notified the company that all goods imported by the company and its affiliates will be held at the border. This will continue until the goods can be confirmed to be asbestos free through testing by a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) laboratory.

The ABF will engage with the company to ensure all products entering Australia are asbestos free as well as to investigate if the company knowingly imported asbestos products. The Building Commission is also conducting an independent audit into the building products supplied by Yuanda.

Australia is one of the few countries that has a total ban on asbestos imports and this is a case study reminder that it is the responsibility of importers to ensure that their goods do not contain asbestos.

An increased operational focus by the ABF on preventing asbestos imports from entering Australia, has resulted in more detections and seizures of imports containing asbestos in 2015-16 compared to 2014-15. With offences relating to asbestos attracting fines of up to $180,000 or three times the value of the goods, whichever is the greater, this is an issue worth paying attention to.

At Seabridge we offer the services of an experienced team of customs and imports experts who specialise in complying with ABF regulations. If you need any more information on asbestos testing or importing goods into Australia, please contact the Seabridge team today on 1800 727 195.

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