Danger Asbestos yellow warning tape close up

Following on from Fridays release by Australian Border Force (ABF) of their Fact Sheet called ‘Managing the risk of Asbestos at the border’ we would like to provide importers with some information on how to perform your required due diligence and how to portray this to Navia for the purpose of Customs Clearance.

What is Due Diligence?
Due Diligence outlines the steps taken by a person to ensure they have complied with a certain piece of legislation or requirement.

What Due Diligence is required?
ABF require importers to perform a number of checks to confirm imported goods do not contain any asbestos at all (0%). These due diligence checks may include (but are not limited to):
• Contractual requirements on the supplier to ensure goods contain 0% Asbestos
• Testing for Asbestos content prior to shipping to Australia
• Regular risk assessment of suppliers to ensure they do not source materials that may contain Asbestos

What should I be cautious of?
As an importer, even if the above due diligence checks are completed, you may still find yourself responsible for the importation of Asbestos. Situations that may cause this are:
• Cross contamination with goods that do contain Asbestos
• Misinformation being provided by suppliers
• Misunderstanding from supplier (some countries consider goods containing up to 5% Asbestos to be Asbestos Free (not Australia))

Where can I find further information?
Links to further information issued by ABF can be located below:

How do importers proceed from here?
As per the ABF Fact Sheet that there is as much pressure on our Licenced Customs Brokers (LCB) as there is Importers to ensure a level of Due Diligence is performed. At the LCB level, Due Diligence is completed when we receive a statement from an importer outlining the steps they have performed to ensure their own Due Diligence steps have been met. If such a statement is not provided, or the LCB is not convinced goods are free of Asbestos then LCB’s are required by law to advise ABF accordingly, the likely result of which will be the consignment being directed for Asbestos testing prior to release.

We have prepared sample documentation for your completion. You will notice that the documents require:

  • Importers letterhead, including address details
  • Consignment links (container / bill of lading / invoice numbers)
  • A summary from importer advising the due diligence steps that have been performed
  • Signature & Date

This required statement is available Asbestos Free Declaration.

At Navia we strive to provide high levels of customer service, balanced with assisting to our Clients to comply with Australia’s various and complex Border Compliance Laws. Should you have any questions on this, or any other issue please do not hesitate to contact our Customs Brokerage Team on 03 9331 5715.