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he Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has reported increasing delays with Import Document Processing. We are working hard to ensure that documentation lodged by BRi is timely, accurate and complete. Please see below the latest update from the industry body after meeting with DAFF:

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) participated in a briefing with IFCBAA on Friday 8th March 2024 hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) focusing on:

  • current document assessment delays,
  • measures being taken by DAFF to improve services, and
  • again, exploring opportunities to increase the use of the Approved commodities for the class 19.2 (AEPCOMM) approved arrangement.

NOTE: chart prepared by FTA using DAFF source data

DAFF representatives advised they are:

  • undertaking planned recruitment processes with the aim to onboard 75 assessment officers nationally;
  • reviewing the risk associated with various commodities coming into Australia – this results in a lower referral rate and less intervention for a number of commodities while maintaining a strong and effective biosecurity system;
  • temporarily diverting workforce capacity to document assessment functions;
  • reimplementing peak period strategies to provide maximum capacity with available resources; and
  • better managing requests for document assessments outside of business hours, which continue to be facilitated subject to capacity. Requests are currently exceeding 1200 per week.

As outlined in Import Industry Advice Notice 40-2024: Import Document Assessment Delays released late this afternoon, DAFF also suggested measures industry can take – refer HERE

FTA gave a commitment to work with DAFF, members and fellow industry colleagues to examine methodologies for a more measured compliance regime and other pragmatic strategies to increase the uptake of AEPCOMM.

Aligned with our “Three-point Plan“, FTA will also continue to advocate to the Federal Government for increased funds to address interim remedial action to support import processing until additional permanent resources and benefits of modernised systems are realised.

For the foreseeable future, importers can expect continuation of lengthy delays and accordingly are advised to factor in additional landed costs for any consignment requiring document assessment outside of AEPCOMM.


As always, if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of the professionals within our Customs Brokerage team who are waiting to assist.


Thank you for choosing BR International.

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