BILLS DIGEST NO. 4, 2023–24
25 July 2023
Biosecurity Amendment (Advanced Compliance Measures) Bill 2023
Date introduced: 21 June 2023
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Commencement: the day after Royal Assent
The purpose of the Biosecurity Amendment (Advanced Compliance Measures) Bill 2023 (the Bill) is to update existing compliance measures in the Biosecurity Act 2015 to improve their operation in the evolving biosecurity environment.
The Bill comprises 4 Schedules:
Australia’s response to biosecurity issues is based upon the requirements of the World Trade Organisation Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and the World Health Organisation’s International Health Regulations 2005. The SPS Agreement requires countries to adopt the least trade restrictive quarantine barriers possible, but gives member countries the right to take sanitary and phytosanitary measures necessary to protect human, plant and animal life or health in their jurisdiction. Each Member country is entitled to set its appropriate level of protection (ALOP) as it sees fit, taking into account the full range of national interest considerations. However, the SPS Agreement requires that those measures are scientifically based, non-discriminatory and consistently applied.
The Biosecurity Act provides that the ALOP for Australia is a high level of sanitary and phytosanitary protection aimed at reducing biosecurity risks to a very low level, but not to zero.
The Biosecurity Act contains a number of requirements that entities travelling or bringing goods to Australia must comply with. These include: