The Australian Border Force (ABF) has initiated an independent review of Australia’s asbestos border control management.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the review would examine the effectiveness of Australia’s asbestos border control as enforced by the ABF.
“The ABF takes its role in detecting asbestos at the border seriously, however, we can’t afford to be complacent with such a dangerous and prohibited substance,” Mr Dutton said.
“The independent review will therefore examine the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s internal processes and procedures for mitigating the risk that goods containing asbestos will enter Australia.
“The review complements a range of ABF operations targeting asbestos importation, and ongoing education initiatives intended to prevent, detect and deter the importation of goods containing asbestos.”
An Australia-wide ban on the importation, manufacture and use of asbestos and goods containing asbestos took effect on 31 December 2003.
The border control on asbestos complements Commonwealth, state and territory regulations that implement this asbestos ban.
The independent review will focus on a number of processes and procedures, including:
• the effectiveness of the border control on asbestos, including identification, detection and compliance activities
• procedures for asbestos handling, storage and disposal in compliance with relevant Commonwealth, and state and territory work, health, safety and environment laws
• engagement with importers and other industry stakeholders to promote compliance with the prohibition
• engagement with other government agencies to ensure effective policy development and regulation of asbestos across jurisdictions and
• engagement with international customs administrations in educating and sharing information to prevent and detect the importation of asbestos into Australia.
“Findings of the review will be used to determine if Australia’s asbestos border control measures require strengthening, ensuring that the community is protected from these dangerous goods,” Mr Dutton said.
The review will be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2016 and is being conducted by KGH Border Services.