A new video about the role of the Australian Border Force (ABF) in stopping asbestos at the border, particularly asbestos found in imported second hand vehicles and building materials, has been published on the Department’s website.
This financial year, imported secondhand vehicles continue to dominate asbestos detections, with more than 60 cars and motorbikes found to have asbestos-containing parts. There have also been four detections of asbestos in building materials to date.
These incidents highlight the continuing need for people who are importing cars and motor bikes from overseas, particularly vintage cars, show cars, motor scooters, ATVs (quad bikes) and replacement vehicle parts, to ensure they do not contain asbestos. Importers, including brokers acting on behalf of their clients, are required to assess the goods and understand their obligations in declaring the possibility of asbestos, including providing assurances to prove the absence of asbestos when required.
Importers must understand what constitutes an acceptable form of assurance that goods do not contain asbestos. Importers should also be aware of the varying definitions and standards applied to asbestos content outside of Australia - asbestos tolerance levels in products from other countries will, in most cases, not meet Australia’s import prohibition for asbestos.
An importer may choose to have the vehicle sampled and tested for asbestos while overseas, which can save time and money. Before undertaking asbestos testing through an overseas laboratory, importers should check whether the overseas laboratory is recognised by Australian authorities.
Documentary evidence which demonstrates the absence of asbestos, when at-risk parts are replaced, is becoming easier as manufacturers publish material data for these goods on the internet. Parts or components that are replaced or removed need to be evidenced through work records retained by the importer - supplying statements from mechanics or repairers that ‘asbestos containing parts have been removed or replaced’ are insufficient without documentary evidence detailing the exact work undertaken.
To watch the video and for information on how to meet the requirements for the control of asbestos at the border, see the Asbestos web page.