Proposal to grant Multiple Use Consignment Authorities for the import of perishable goods under the exceptional circumstances provision

The Department of the Environment, as delegate for The Minister for the Environment, is considering granting multiple use consignment authorities for wildlife products listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to importers of perishable goods under the exceptional circumstances provision (section 303GB) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Perishable goods are specimens, often food or plant material, which are subject to decay, spoilage, or deterioration. These products require import within a very short timeframe 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) must not issue a permit under this section (exceptional circumstances) unless the grant of that permit would not be contrary to CITES". Under section 303GB 1(c), in order to issue a permit under exceptional circumstances, "...the Minister (or delegate) is satisfied that:The granting of these multiple use consignment authorities 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 (re) export permit must be forwarded to the Department of the Environment, along with a completed import notification form.

  1. the import of the specimen(s) would not be contrary to the objects of the Act; and
  2. exceptional circumstances exist that justify the proposed import of the specimen; and
  3. the import of the specimens would not adversely affect biodiversity”.

In applying for an exceptional circumstance multiple use consignment authority, importers will be required to pay a fee of $ 313.00. This fee structure is higher than the standard fee but is unavoidable due to the current fee prescription under Part 18 and Schedule 11 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000.

The public are invited to provide written comments on the proposal to issue these multiple consignment authorities. The public comment period closes on Monday 25 August 2014.

Please address any comments to:

The Director
Wildlife Trade Regulation
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
CANBERRA ACT 2601

or email to: wildlifetrade@environment.gov.au