Beware of Asbestos in your imports!
Importing good containing asbestos is prohibited. Australia has a zero tolerance level of asbestos within manufactured goods. The shift of businesses purchasing goods from overseas has seen an increase of goods coming in from countries that have not banned asbestos, or where allowable levels is acceptable. Some countries regard products to be ‘asbestos free’ if they contain amounts below a certain level (e.g. below 5%)
Importing contaminated goods attracts huge fines. Fines of up to three times the value of the goods, or up to $180,000, whichever is greater. So it pays to be aware of your risk of being penalised by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
Types of goods at Risk of Asbestos
- Building Products: High Density Board, Cement Sheeting, Roof Sheeting, Insulation Products
- Vehicles/Motor Bikes/ Vessels: Gaskets (head and throttle), Brake Pads, Clutch Linings, Friction Materials
- Mining Equipment: Pre-assembled switch rooms, Effluent Treatment Equipment, Nut Plug, Friction Materials
- Novelty Products: Healing Crystals/Stone, Magic Fire Wallet, Pet Electric Heating Pads, Thermo Flasks
- Children’s Toys: Crayons, Remote Control Cars
How you as an importer can comply with the ban on asbestos
- Request a certificate from overseas supplier that goods or materials are asbestos-free (IMPORTANT: only accept certificates from a NATA approved laboratory)
- Request evidence from overseas supplier that goods do not contain asbestos (testing results)
- Arrange to have a sample of the goods tested in Australia. This requires you to apply for an exemption to the prohibition:
- Applications can be made to the Minister administering the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011 (Phone: 1300 307 877 or email:)
- The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency can assist in this process (Phone: 1300 363 079 or email:
- Australian Laboratories accredited by NATA can be found at http://www.nata.com.au/nata/