Legislation Background

Links to major APVMA (NRA) legislation are given below. Full text of Australian legislation is accessed via: Comlaw, Lawsearch and Austlii.

Background to APVMA (NRA) Legislation

Prior to March 1995, the Commonwealth held responsibility for the evaluation and assessment of selected agvet chemical products and their clearance for registration. The States and Territories were responsible for the registration and control of use of all agvet chemical products.

Initially the Commonwealth's involvement in the clearance process were informal but from 1 July 1989 the arrangements were put on a legislative basis with the enactment of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1988 (Cth) which established the Australian Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Council to undertake clearance activities.

In July 1991, the Commonwealth, States and Territories agreed to establish the National Registration Scheme (NRS) for agricultural and veterinary chemicals. The development of the NRS sought to place under one national umbrella the assessment and registration of all agvet chemical products previously undertaken independently by the Commonwealth and each of the States and Territories.

The APVMA is a partnership between the Commonwealth and the States/Territories under which the APVMA, then the NRA, was established as a Commonwealth Statutory Authority, with responsibility for the evaluation, registration and review of agricultural and veterinary chemicals, and their control up to the point of retail sale. The States and Territories retain responsibility for control-of-use activities, such as licensing of pest control operators and aerial spraying.

The first major step in establishing the NRS was the establishment by the Commonwealth of the NRA on 15 June 1993 under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992. The APVMA is an independent statutory authority. It implements the legislative powers and functions provided to it under the legislation on behalf of all jurisdictions. It has responsibility, in particular, for the implementation of the Agvet Codes.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1988, which provided the legislative basis for the former arrangements, was initially amended at the same time to transfer the powers and functions of the outgoing Australian Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Council to the NRA.

However, on 15 March 1995, following the commencement of a suite of Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, the NRS came into full operation. The package of legislation repealed the 1988 Act and established a new legislative regime for the NRA's operations.

The National Registration legislation consisted of seven Acts: three dealing with registration activities and four relating to registration fees and charges. The centerpiece of this suite of legislation is the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (the 'Agvet Code') scheduled to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994, which contains the detailed operational provisions for registering chemical products and provides the NRA with its full range of powers, including the evaluation, registration and review of agricultural and veterinary chemical products (including active constituents and product labels); the issuing of permits; the control of the manufacture of chemical products; controls regulating the supply of chemical products; and provisions ensuring compliance with, and for the enforcement of, the Code. The last four Acts in the package contain the cost recovery mechanisms - in particular, the imposition, assessment and collection of a levy on sales of chemical products - which establish the NRA as an independent, self-funding regulatory body. A list of the laws comprising the National Registration legislation appears below.

The Agvet Code is a law of the Commonwealth that only applies in the Australian Capital Territory. To enable the Agvet Code to have national coverage, each of the States and the Northern Territory enacted complementary legislation that has the effect that the Agvet Code of the Australian Capital Territory is applied as a law of each State and the Northern Territory. Taken together they are referred to as the Agvet Codes.

While the Agvet Codes apply in the States and the Northern Territory as the law of those jurisdictions, the applied laws are partly 'federalised' - that is, for most practical purposes they have the general characteristics of Commonwealth rather than State laws. In particular, this 'federalisation' allows the Commonwealth's Acts Interpretation Act 1901 to apply for the purposes of interpreting the Agvet Codes so there is a uniform interpretative regime. Also, the Commonwealth's administrative law package applies that allows exclusive rights of review of NRA decisions taken under the Agvet Codes as though the decisions were made under Commonwealth laws. Additionally, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is empowered to prosecute for any offences against the legislation even though such offences are offences against the laws of the States or Territories concerned.

The National Registration legislation comprises the following seven Acts:

A description of these Acts and other laws relating to agvet chemicals appears in the next section.

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Current Legislation

The complex legislative arrangements governing the NRA and its regulation of agvet chemicals may be best understood from the following description of the principal Acts (in bold type) together with a brief summary of relevant amendments.

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Statutes

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 [No. 262 of 1992]

This Act, which came into effect on 15 June 1993, establishes the NRA as a statutory authority. The NRS is a partnership between the Commonwealth and the States/Territories under which the NRA was established as a Commonwealth Statutory Authority, with responsibility for the evaluation, registration and review of agricultural and veterinary chemicals, and their control up to the point of retail sale. The States and Territories retain responsibility for control-of-use activities, such as licensing of pest control operators and aerial spraying.

View the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 [No. 262 of 1992] (ComLaw).

Primary Industries and Energy Legislation Amendment Act 1993 [No. 94 of 1993]

This Act, which commenced on 16 December 1993, makes minor amendments to the 1992 Administration Act relating to financial and staffing matters.

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Consequential Amendments) Act 1994 [No. 37 of 1994]

This Act, which was part of the National Registration legislation and thus commenced on 15 March 1995, makes amendments to the Administration Act and to the Copyright Act 1968 which were necessary as a consequence of the introduction of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 and the repealing of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1988. In particular, the functions of the NRA, which were mostly taken over from the outgoing Australian Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Council and contained in the repealed Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1988 were, by this amendment, incorporated into the Administration Act.

The Administration Act was also amended to include certain controls over the importation, manufacture and exportation of agvet chemicals by making it an offence to import unapproved active constituents or unregistered chemical products. The amendments also enabled the NRA to monitor the import, manufacture and export of unapproved active constituents and unregistered chemical products. Because these are functions for which the Commonwealth can constitutionally enact laws, they were included as amendments to the Administration Act rather than be included in the Agvet Codes.

The Consequential Amendments Act also makes some consequential amendments to the Copyright Act 1968 to confirm that the reproduction of a label for an agvet chemical product is not an infringement of any copyright subsisting under Part III or section 92 of the Copyright Act.

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Amendment Act 1994 [No. 76 of 1994]

This Act, which commenced on 1 July 1994, is one of a package of six Acts which gave effect to the interim cost recovery arrangements for the operation of the NRS (see also the Interim Cost Recovery legislation below). The Act amended section 58 of the Administration Act 1992 to provide that relevant levy or late payment penalties are payable to the NRA via the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Primary Industries and Energy Legislation Amendment Act 1994 [No. 94 of 1994]

This Act, the relevant parts of which commenced on 15 March 1995, makes a minor amendment to the functions and powers of the NRA set out in the 1992 Administration Act. It also makes a minor alteration to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Act 1994 (see below).

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Customs, Excise and Bounty Legislation Amendment Act 1995 [No. 85 of 1995]

This Act, which commenced on 1 July 1995, makes a minor amendment to subsection 69B(4) of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992. The subsection sets out particular circumstances in which imported chemical products or active constituents are, for the purposes of the Customs Act 1901, taken to be prohibited imports. The amendment has the effect as if products or constituents included in an importation in the circumstances set out in the subsection, were goods described as forfeited to the Crown under section 229 of the Customs Act 1901 because they were prohibited imports within the meaning of that Act.

Primary Industries and Energy Legislation Amendment Act (No. 2) 1996 [No. 59, 1996]

This Act makes amendments to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992, and to the Agvet Code scheduled to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994. The amendments to the Administration Act commenced on 20 November 1996.

The amendments to the Administration Act:

  • require the NRA to comply with the policies of the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments;
  • require the NRA to give information to DPIE about active constituents that are imported into, manufactured in, or exported from, Australia on an annual basis, which will allow the department to fulfil its international obligations to provide information about chemical products that have been restricted by the NRA to overseas regulatory authorities; and
  • enable the NRA to charge fees for certificates of export of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

Audit (Transitional and Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 1997 [No. 152, 1997]

On 1 January 1998, the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (the CAC Act) commenced, which deals with matters relating to Commonwealth authorities, including reporting and accountability, banking and investment, and conduct of officers. The CAC Act was part of a package of legislation which also included the Auditor-General Act 1997 and the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.

A number of transitional and consequential matters arose from the enactment of this legislative package and from the repeal of the Audit Act 1901, which were dealt with in the Audit (Transitional and Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 1997. The CAC Act applies to the NRA, and included in these consequential matters were minor changes to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992.

Some prior provisions in the 1992 Administration Act relating to the NRA's procedures for reporting and accountability, banking and investment, and conduct of officers were amended so as to closely align with the general provisions covering these matters in the CAC Act.

Primary Industries and Energy Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 1998 [No.102, 1998]

This Act commenced on 30 July 1998 and amends the 1992 Administration Act by increasing the constitution of the Board. The Board now consists of a Chairperson and 8 directors, including an additional director with experience in development or administration of Commonwealth Government policy or the management of a Commonwealth statutory authority.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 1999 [No.4, 1999]

This Act commenced on 31 March 1999. The Act makes an amendment to the 1992 Administration Act that modifies the Agvet Codes for the purposes of giving effect to Article 39(3) of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement). These amendments provide five years' protection for undisclosed texts and/or other data submitted to the NRA for evaluation of a new active constituent for an agricultural or veterinary chemical product. Such data will not be available for reference by a commercial competitor without the agreement of the originator of the data. These amendments remove any doubt about whether Australia is fulfilling its obligations under Article 39(3) of the TRIPS Agreement.

Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 [No. 146, 1999]

This Act, the relevant parts of which commenced on 5 December 1999, makes minor amendments to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 and the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Interim Levy) Act 1994. The Administration Act and the Collection of Interim Levy Act made several references to the Public Service Act 1922 and the Amendment Act changed these to the Public Service Act 1999.

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Corporate Law Economic Reform Program Act 1999 [No. 156, 1999]

This Act commenced on 24 November 1999 and makes minor changes to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 by amending references in s.24(2)(b) to section 21 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 to read section 27F or 27J of the CAC Act.

Criminal Code Amendment (Theft, Fraud, Bribery and Related Offences) Act 2000 [No. 137, 2000]

This Act, which was enacted on 24 November 2000 (although the relevant parts did not commence until 24 May 2001), repeals the reference in subsection 69F(3) of the Administration Act to sections 71, 72, 73, 74, 75 and 76 of the Crimes Act 1914. Section 69F of the Administration Act relates to the appointment of inspectors and subsection (3) provides that an inspector is a Commonwealth officer for the purposes of certain sections of the Crimes Act 1914. These amendments are consequential to other amendments in the Criminal Code Amendment Act (Item 154 in Schedule 2) which repeal sections 71, 72, 73, 74, 75 and 76 in the Crimes Act 1914. The repealed sections are replaced by Criminal Code offences: 131.1 (Theft), 145.4 (Falsification of documents etc.), 141.1 (Bribery of a Commonwealth public official), 145.4 (Falsification of documents etc.), 148.1 (Impersonation of an official by a non-official), and 149.1 (Obstruction of Commonwealth public officials). The specified offences in the Criminal Code apply to acts by or in relation to "Commonwealth public officials" (which includes NRA inspectors) or in relation to documents or property of the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth public official.

Gene Technology (Consequential Amendments) Act 2000 [No. 170, 2000]

This Act, which commenced on 22 June 2001, inserts a new section (section 8A) which requires the NRA to consult the Gene Technology Regulator for the purposes of making certain decisions under the Administration Act. The relevant decisions are when the NRA decides to grant an application, make a variation or reconsider any of the following:

  1. approval of an active constituent that is, or contains, a GM product;
  2. registration of a chemical product that is, or contains, a GM product;
  3. approval of a label for containers for a chemical product that is, or contains, a GM product.

The new terms "Gene Technology Regulator" and "GM product' in the Administration Act have the same meaning as in the Gene Technology Act 2001.

The NRA must also consult the Gene Technology Regulator (GTR) before deciding whether to issue a permit in respect of an active constituent or a chemical product where either the active constituent or the chemical product is, or contains, a GM product.

The formal consultative process of subsections 8A(3) to (6) requires the NRA to give written notice to the GTR stating that the application has been made, a reconsideration is to be undertaken, or a permit is being considered and requesting the GTR to provide written advice to the NRA about the application, reconsideration or issue of a permit. The GTR's advice must be given in the time period specified by the NRA. If the GTR provides such advice to the NRA, the NRA must take the advice into account in making a decision on the application, reconsideration, or issue of a permit. The NRA must also inform the GTR of its decision so as to enable the GTR to enter information relating to the decision on the Record of GMO's and GM products established under the Gene Technology Act 2001.

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Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Act 2001 [No. 115, 2001]

This Act, which takes effect on 16 October 2001, makes consequential amendments to offence provisions in the agvet chemicals legislation including the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992. The Criminal Code contains a standard approach to the formulation of criminal offences. The Criminal Code will apply to all Commonwealth offences by the end of 2001. The application of the Criminal Code to all offences improves Commonwealth criminal law by clarifying important elements of offences, in particular, the fault elements.

The Amendment Act amends the agvet chemicals legislation (and other Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries portfolio legislation) to harmonise offence-creating and related provisions with the general principles of criminal responsibility as codified in Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code. The amendments will ensure that the relevant offences continue to have much the same meaning and operate in much the same way as they do at present.

The major kinds of amendments made by the Amendment Act:

  • apply the Criminal Code to all offence-creating and related provisions in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992;
  • delete references in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 to some Crimes Act 1914 general offence provisions (sections 7, 7A and 86) which duplicate provisions of the Criminal Code and replace them with references to equivalent Criminal Code provisions where appropriate;
  • apply strict liability to individual offences or specified physical elements of offences where appropriate;
  • reconstruct provisions in order to clarify physical elements of conduct;
  • remove or replace inappropriate fault elements; and
  • repeal some offence-creating provisions, which duplicate general offence provisions in the Criminal Code.

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994 [No. 36 of 1994]

This Act, which was part of the National Registration legislation and thus commenced on 15 March 1995, contains the constitutional and other legal provisions that enables the Agvet Code to have effect. The essence of the legislative arrangements which give effect to the NRS is, by means of complementary adoptive legislation, for the Commonwealth Parliament to pass a law establishing the Agvet Code in the Australian Capital Territory. This Act does this. The Agvet Code then is applied by the legislatures of the States and the Northern Territory as a law of those jurisdictions by state/territory complementary Acts - the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals [State/Northern Territory] Acts 1994. This federal Act also contains the Commonwealth provisions which partly 'federalised' the applied Agvet Codes. This 'federalisation' of the applied laws was explained in the earlier part of this Appendix. This Act also repealed the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1988.

View the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994 [No. 36 of 1994].

The National Food Authority Amendment Act 1995 [No. 152 of 1995]

This Act, which commenced on 1 July 1996, amends the reference in subsection 7(2) of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994 from the National Food Authority Act 1991 to the Australia New Zealand Food Authority Act 1991.

Jurisdiction of Courts Legislation Amendment Act 2000 [No. 57, 2000]

This Act, which commenced on 1 July 2000, makes changes to the definition of "authority" in section 4 and to subsection 20(4) as a result of the High Court's decision in Re Wakim to invalidate the Commonwealth's cross-vesting laws.

Australia New Zealand Food Authority Amendment Act 2001 [No. 81, 2001]

This amendment, which is dependent on the future commencement of an amendment of the Australia New Zealand Joint Food Standards, amends the reference in subsection 7(2) of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994 from the Australia New Zealand Food Authority Act 1991 to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991.

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment Act 2001 [No. 83, 2001]

This amending Act, most of which commenced on 11 July 2001, redrafts section 18 of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994 so as to clarify the powers, functions and duties of Commonwealth officials and authorities within the National Registration Scheme (NRS) for agricultural and veterinary chemicals following the decision of the High Court in R v. Hughes (2000) 171 ALR 155.

The Amendment Act also inserts a new section 18A in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994 which addresses certain gaps in the NRS legislative scheme, arising independently of the Hughes decision but also concerning the conferral of duties, powers and functions on Commonwealth authorities and officials, relating to the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and inspectors and analysts appointed under Commonwealth law.

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 [No. 47 of 1994]

This Act, which was part of the National Registration legislation and thus commenced on 15 March 1995, contains as a schedule the Act, the 'Agvet Code', which has the detailed provisions allowing the NRA to evaluate, approve or register, and review active constituents and agricultural and veterinary chemical products (and their associated labels); to licence the manufacture of chemical products; and to issue permits. The Agvet Code also contains detailed offence provisions allowing the NRA to regulate the control of agvet chemicals and it has other provisions for ensuring compliance with, and enforcement of, the Agvet Code. As well, the Code contains provisions for data protection compensation for review data.

View the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 [No. 47 of 1994].

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Primary Industries and Energy Legislation Amendment Act (No. 2) 1994 [No. 129 of 1994]

This Act, the relevant parts of which were taken to have commenced on 15 March 1995, makes a minor amendment to the Agvet Code scheduled to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 in relation to section 159 requests for further information by the NRA.

Competition Policy Reform Act 1995 [No. 88 of 1995]

This Act, the relevant parts of which commenced on 6 November 1995, amends the reference in section 100 of the Agvet Code (concerning the recall of unregistered products) from the Trade Practices Commission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Primary Industries and Energy Legislation Amendment Act (No. 2) 1996 [No. 59, 1996]

The Act makes amendments to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992, and the Agvet Code scheduled to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994. The amendments to the Agvet Code commenced on 15 March 1995. The amendments to the Admin Act are described above. The major amendment to the Agvet Code amends section 32(2) to allow the NRA to make tailored requests for review information. The information given to the NRA in response to its requests will be eligible for data protection. The amendment also makes some minor amendments to other sections of the Agvet Code.

Primary Industries and Energy Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 1997 [No. 22, 1997]

This Act commenced on 7 April 1997 and amended the Agvet Code to extend the compensation provisions to active constituents of a chemical product. The amendments to the Agvet Code provide for a primary applicant who has given the NRA protected information about a protected active constituent to be given compensation in the event that a secondary applicant is given permission to use that information in connection with an application to approve another active constituent.

Gene Technology (Consequential Amendments) Act 2000 [No. 170, 2000]

This Act, which commenced on 22 June 2001, follows on from related amendments to the 1992 Administration Act (see above), by adding new paragraphs to subsections 14(3), 29(1), 34(1) and 114(1) of the Agvet Code relating to decisions by the NRA in respect of granting an application or permit, making a variation or reconsidering any of the following:

  1. the approval of an active constituent that is, or contains, a GM product;
  2. the registration of a chemical product that is, or contains, a GM product;
  3. approval of a label for containers for a chemical product that is, or contains, a GM product.

The new paragraphs require the NRA to be satisfied for each of these decisions that the Gene Technology Regulator has been properly consulted in accordance with section 8A of the Administration Act.

Corporations (Repeals, Consequentials and Transitionals) Act 2001 [No. 55, 2001]

This Act, the relevant part of which commenced on 15 July 2001, omits the reference in subsection 69(5) of the Agvet Code to "Corporations Law" and substitutes the "Corporations Act 2001". Section 69 of the Agvet Code sets out what is a reasonable proposal for protected data compensation and subsection 69(4) provides that such a proposal includes an appropriate portion of any related costs incurred by another body corporate that is related to the primary applicant. Subsection 69(5) further provides that the question as to whether two bodies corporate are related to each other is to be determined in the same way as for the purposes of the Corporations Act 2001.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Act 2001 [No. 115, 2001]

In addition to the amendments noted above in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Act 2001 [No. 115, 2001] applying to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992, other amendments in the AFFA Legislation Amendment Act similarly amend the Agvet Code scheduled to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 also with effect from 16 October 2001.

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The Levy Legislation

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Act 1994 [No. 41 of 1994]

This Act, which was part of the National Registration legislation and thus commenced on 15 March 1995, contains measures that allow for the assessment and collection of levies in regard to agricultural and veterinary products registered for use in Australia. Together with the other levy legislation (see the next three Acts in this subsection below), this Act provides for the collection of levy imposed by the other three levy Acts. The Act also makes provision for certain powers of entry, inspection and seizure to determine the amount of levy, if any, that is payable. It also contains provisions for an appeal and review process where a person is dissatisfied with an assessment made under the Act.

View the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Act 1994 [No. 41 of 1994].

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products Levy Imposition (Customs) Act 1994 [No. 39 of 1994]

This Act, which also commenced on 15 March 1995, imposes levy on chemical products imported and sold wholesale.

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products Levy Imposition (Excise) Act 1994 [No. 38 of 1994]

This Act, which also commenced on 15 March 1995, imposes levy on Australian manufactured products.

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products Levy Imposition (General) Act 1994 [No. 40 of 1994]

This Act, which also commenced on 15 March 1995, imposes levy on imported chemical products sold directly as retail.

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Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Amendment Act 1994 [No. 72 of 1994]

This Act, which also commenced on 15 March 1995, was part of the interim levy legislation (see below). The Act amended the Collection of Levy Act to provide that when that Act commences the 1993 levy was not collected twice as it was collected by the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Interim Levy) Act 1994.

Primary Industries and Energy Legislation Amendment Act 1994 [No. 94 of 1994]

As noted above this Act, the relevant parts of which commenced on 15 March 1995, principally amends the functions and powers of the NRA set out in the 1992 Administration Act. However, it also makes a minor alteration to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Act 1994 by inserting a definition of 'relevant particulars' in section 3.

Primary Industries and Energy Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 1995 [No. 36 of 1995]

This Act, which commenced on 12 April 1995, amends the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Act 1994 by changing the prescribed date for payment of the levy from 1 July to 31 July, and overcoming the need for two annual levy payments in 1994-95 (i.e. September 1994 and June 1995). The Act also allows future levy payments to be paid by installments.

The amendments in this Act also allow a product to be declared by regulations under the principal Levy Act to be an excluded chemical product at an earlier time than when it was registered by any State or Territory. The effect of the declaration is that the excluded product will be taken not to be registered at the relevant time and will not be liable for levy.

Criminal Code Amendment (Theft, Fraud, Bribery and Related Offences) Act 2000 [No. 137, 2000]

This Act, which was enacted on 24 November 2000 (although the relevant parts did not commence until 24 May 2001), repeals section 37 of the Collection of Levy Act which created offences of giving false or misleading information or producing false or misleading documents. The offences are replaced by the Criminal Code offences: 137.1 (False or misleading information) and 137.2 (False or misleading documents). The specified offences in the Criminal Code apply in relation to documents of the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth public official.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Act 2001 [No. 115, 2001]

In addition to the amendments noted above in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Act 2001 [No. 115, 2001] applying to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 and the Agvet Code, other amendments in the AFFA Legislation Amendment Act similarly amend the Collection of Levy Act also with effect from 16 October 2001.

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Interim Cost Recovery Legislation

This legislative package of six Acts, which mostly commenced on 1 July 1994, give effect to interim cost-recovery arrangements for the operation of the National Registration Scheme pending the commencement of the National Registration legislation. The package provides for the imposition, assessment and collection of an interim levy in 1994 on the sales of agricultural and veterinary chemical products made during 1993.

Interim Cost Recovery legislation:

  • Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Interim Levy) Act 1994 [No. 71 of 1994]
  • Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products Interim Levy Imposition (Customs) Act 1994 [No. 73 of 1994]
  • Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products Interim Levy Imposition (Excise) Act 1994 [No. 75 of 1994]
  • Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products Interim Levy Imposition (General) Act 1994 [No. 74 of 1994]
  • Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Amendment Act 1994 [No. 72 of 1994]
  • Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Amendment Act 1994 [No. 76 of 1994].

There was a minor amendment made to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Interim Levy) Act 1994 by the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 [No. 146, 1999] which commenced on 5 December 1999. The Collection of Interim Levy Act made several references to the Public Service Act 1922 and the Amendment Act changed these to the Public Service Act 1999.

A further amendment to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Interim Levy) Act 1994 was made by the Criminal Code Amendment (Theft, Fraud, Bribery and Related Offences) Act 2000 [No. 137, 2000]. This Act, which was enacted on 24 November 2000 (although the relevant parts did not commence until 24 May 2001), repeals the reference in subsection 18(2) of the Collection of Interim Levy Act to sections 71, 72, 73, 74, 75 and 76 of the Crimes Act 1914. Section 18 of the Collection of Interim Levy Act relates to the appointment of inspectors for the purposes of the collection of interim levies and subsection (2) provides that an inspector is a Commonwealth officer for the purposes of certain sections of the Crimes Act 1914. These amendments are consequential to other amendments in the Criminal Code Amendment Act (Item 154 in Schedule 2) which repeal sections 71, 72, 73, 74, 75 and 76 in the Crimes Act 1914. The repealed sections are replaced by Criminal Code offences: 131.1 (Theft), 145.4 (Falsification of documents etc.), 141.1 (Bribery of a Commonwealth public official), 145.4 (Falsification of documents etc.), 148.1 (Impersonation of an official by a non-official), and 149.1 (Obstruction of Commonwealth public officials).

The specified offences in the Criminal Code apply to acts by or in relation to "Commonwealth public officials" (which includes NRA inspectors) or in relation to documents or property of the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth public official.

The Criminal Code Amendment (Theft, Fraud, Bribery and Related Offences) Act 2000 also repeals s.35 of the Collection of Interim Levy Act which created offences of giving false or misleading information or producing false or misleading documents. The offences are replaced by the offences inserted into the Criminal Code: 137.1 (False or misleading information) and 137.2 (False or misleading documents).

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Act 2001 [No. 115, 2001]

In addition to the amendments noted above in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Act 2001 [No. 115, 2001] applying to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 and the Agvet Code and the Collection of Levy Act, other amendments in the AFFA Legislation Amendment Act similarly amend the Collection of Interim Levy Act also with effect from 16 October 2001.

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Delegated Legislation

The Administration Regulations

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Regulations [Statutory Rules 1995 No. 28] (ComLaw) were made under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992, and commenced on 15 March 1995. They prescribe the form of search warrant to be used when there is a suspected offence in relation to the importation, manufacture or exportation of agricultural or veterinary chemicals and specify the quantity of active constituents below which an annual return of the importation, manufacture and exportation of these actives is not required.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Regulations (Amendment) [Statutory Rules 1997, No. 320] commenced on 17 November 1997 and amends the Administration Regulations by imposing fees for certificates of export issued by the NRA under section 69D of the Administration Act. The fees imposed are:

  • Standard certificate $100
  • Certificate requiring DFAT certification $120
  • Additional certificate $20
  • Additional certificate requiring DFAT certification $40

The Agvet Chemicals Regulations

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Regulations 1999 [Statutory Rules 1999 No. 326] (ComLaw) commenced on 22 December 1999. For the purposes of s.18 of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994, the Regulations prescribe functions in relation to the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Commonwealth which enable the Director to bring prosecutions and proceedings for offences against the Agvet Codes or the Agvet Regulations.

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The Code Regulations

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations 1995 [Statutory Rules 1995, No. 27] (ComLaw) were made under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 and came into effect on 15 March 1995. The Regulations prescribe detailed provisions of the Code, including the approval and registration process, control of chemical products, and timeframes and fees for assessment of applications.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations (Amendment) [Statutory Rules 1995, No. 54] commenced 15 March 1995. The amending Regulations provide for transitional provisions for active constituents. The amendments allow active constituents that were approved under previous arrangements to be adopted as approved by the NRA for 12 months for the purposes of possession and custody.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations (Amendment) [Statutory Rules 1995, No. 137], which commenced on 15 June, vary the fees payable for the renewal of the registration of a chemical product.

The amending Regulations also, with effect from 1 July 1995, increase assessment fees for chemical products, including modular assessment fees.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations (Amendment) [Statutory Rules 1995, No. 187], which commenced on 4 July 1995, add the agricultural chemical product "Dursban Pre-Construction Termiticide" to Schedule 4 of the Code Regulations, thereby declaring the product to be a restricted chemical product.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations (Amendment) [Statutory Rules 1996, No. 83], which commenced on 5 June 1996, vary the fees payable for the renewal of the registration of a chemical product.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations (Amendment) [Statutory Rules 1996, No. 111] commenced on 20 June 1996 to revise the provisions relating to the supply of HGPs.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations (Amendment) [Statutory Rules 1996, No. 162] commenced 24 July 1996 and contain detailed provisions relating to the exemption of certain products and persons from the requirements of Part 8 (Manufacture of Chemical Products) of the Agvet Code, and to the obligations on the licence holder concerning licence conditions. The amending Regulations also prescribe the fees payable for the issue of a licence for manufacture.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations (Amendment) [Statutory Rules 1996, No. 216] commenced 2 October 1996 and increase application fees for agricultural and veterinary chemical products by 3.1%, reflecting expected CPI increases in 1996-97.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations (Amendment) [Statutory Rules 1997, No. 264] commenced on 24 September 1997 and add the insecticide dimethoate to the list of 'date-controlled products' in Schedule 1 of the Agvet Code Regulations. The amendments also correct the terminology used in both schedules 1 and 4 (restricted chemical products) to allow active constituents of a chemical product as well as individual products to be listed in the schedules.

Additionally, the amendments implement recommended changes proposed by the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances:

  • an amendment to regulation 47A which requires the NRA to give notice of its intention to withdraw the assigned notification number for HGPs;
  • an amendment making decisions of the NRA to withdraw notification numbers of premises selling HGPs subject to review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal; and
  • a minor amendment to regulation 59C requiring the NRA to give at least one month's notice to a legal personal representative or trustee in bankruptcy of a licence holder to provide further information about the legal representation. If the legal personal representative or trustee in bankruptcy fails to provide that information within that time then that person will cease to be an exempt person under the legislation.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Amendment Regulations 1999 (No. 1) [Statutory Rules 1999, No. 215] commenced on 16 September 1999. The amendments delete the chemical product "Dursban Pre-Construction Termiticide" from Item 6 of Schedule 4 of the Agvet Code Regulations and substitute the following:-

  • Item 6 A chemical product that is a pre-construction termiticide product containing bifenthrin
  • Item 7 A chemical product that is a pre-construction termiticide product containing chlorpyrifos
  • Item 8 A chemical product containing endosulfan.

The effect of the amendments is to declare chemical products that are pre-construction termiticides that contain either bifenthrin or chlorpyrifos, together with chemical products that contain endosulfan, to be a restricted chemical products under Division 4 of Part 4 of the Agvet Codes.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Amendment Regulations 1999 (No. 2) [Statutory Rules 1999, No. 247] commenced on 31 October 1999. The amendments provide for a new category of application (Category 23A) for registration of certain swimming pool and spa chemical products that come within the definition of a "pool or spa hypochlorite". The overall effect of the amendments are to reduce application fees for the registration of certain swimming pool and spa products and to lower their registration renewal fees.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Regulations 2002 (No.1) [Statutory Rules 2002, No.60] which commenced on 5 April 2002, makes amendments to all criminal offence provisions in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio regulations, including the Agvet Code Regulations, to bring them into line with the general principles of criminal responsibility codified in Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code as set out in the Criminal Code Act 1995. The Criminal Code contains a standard approach to the formulation of criminal offences. The Criminal Code will apply to all Commonwealth offences created by Commonwealth legislation and regulations. The application of the Criminal Code to all offences improves Commonwealth criminal law by replacing common law notions of a criminal act and a guilty mind with physical and fault elements. The amending Regulations address the following matters in the Agvet Code Regulations:

  • the inclusion of new sub regulations making it clear that all offences in the Agvet Code Regulations are offences of strict liability;
  • clarifying the offence regulations to make it clear that reasonable excuse is a defense to the offence; and
  • the inclusion of standard notes referring to the fact that under the Criminal Code, a defendant seeking to rely on a reasonable excuse defense carries the evidential burden.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 1) [Statutory Rules 2002, No. 207], which commenced on 12 September 2002, declares concentrated pindone products to be restricted chemical products by including a "chemical product containing pindone that is a concentrate and for which the relevant label instructions require further mixing with carriers before it is ready to use as a bait" as a new item 9 in Schedule 4 of the Agvet Code Regulations.

The proposed changes reflect the results of a recent review of the registration, use and potential risks of ready-to-use and concentrated products containing pindone acid and pindone sodium. The outcomes of the NRA's review of pindone was notified in the NRA Gazette of 4 June 2002.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Amendment Regulations 2003 (No. 1) [Statutory Rules 2003, No. 8], which commenced on 27 February 2003, declares mevinphos products to be restricted chemical products by including "a chemical product containing mevinphos" as a new item 10 in Schedule 4 of the Agvet Code Regulations.

The proposed changes reflect the results of a recent review of the approvals and registration of mevinphos and the mevinphos product by the NRA. The outcomes of the NRA's review of mevinphos was notified in the NRA Gazette of 5 November 2002.

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The Code Orders

The Veterinary Chemical Products (Excluded Stockfood Non-active Constituents) Order [Statutory Rules 1995, No. 59] (ComLaw) was made under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 and commenced on 15 March 1995. The Order excludes certain stockfood constituents from the definition of veterinary chemical products.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Orders 1999 [Statutory Rules 1999, No. 242] (ComLaw) came into effect on 31 October 1999. The Orders specify Standard Labels for swimming pool and spa hypochlorites that come within the new application Category 23A.

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The Levy Regulations

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Regulations [Statutory Rules 1995, No. 120] (ComLaw) commenced on 6 June 1995 to prescribe the State laws under which an agricultural or veterinary chemical product is registered under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Act 1994 and to specify the rate of levy for 1995-96 and subsequent years.

The total levy payable in respect of a particular chemical product for 1995-96 and subsequent years is increased to $25, 000. The form of search warrant to be used when there is a suspected offence under the Collection of Levy Act is also prescribed.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Amendment Regulations 2000 (No. 1) [Statutory Rules 2000, No. 91] commenced on 1 June 2000 and amended the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Regulations 1995 by reducing the rate of levy from 0.75% to 0.65% in respect of disposable sales after 1 January 1999.

The Interim Cost Recovery Regulations

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Collection of Interim Levy) Regulations [Statutory Rules 1994, No. 215] commenced on 1 July 1994 to prescribe the State laws under which an agricultural or veterinary chemical product is registered under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Interim Levy) Act 1994 and set the rate of levy for the interim levy imposed for 1994.

While previously approved actives being used in registered products are required to re-apply under the Code, no application fee is required if the application is made within six months (i.e. by 15 September 1995), full technical details of the active have previously been given to the NRA (or its predecessors) and the product in which the active is being used has been previously cleared for registration by the NRA (or was awaiting clearance as at 15 March 1995).

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Repealed Legislation

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1988 [No. 91 of 1988]

This Act, which commenced on 1 July 1989 and was repealed on 15 March 1995, established procedures for a uniform system of evaluating agricultural and veterinary chemical products to ascertain their suitability for use in Australia. When satisfied that the chemical product would not result in any unacceptable risk to people, the environment or Australia's agricultural export trade, and that the product was effective for its permitted uses and accurately described, the regulatory authority issued a clearance enabling the product to be registered in the States and Territories for particular uses.

The Act was amended on 15 June 1993 by the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Amendment Act 1992 [No. 263 of 1992], which transferred the powers and functions of the NRA's predecessor-the Australian Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Council-to the NRA.

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Regulations [Statutory Rules 1989, No. 165]

These commenced on 1 July 1989 and were repealed on 15 March 1995. They declared certain chemical products to be either an agricultural or a veterinary chemical product and set the fees payable for making applications for clearance of chemical products.

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Regulations (Amendment) [Statutory Rules 1992, No. 172]

These Regulations commenced on 1 July 1992 and were repealed on 15 March 1995. They amended SR 1989, No. 165 by deleting the schedules that had declared certain chemical products not to be either an agricultural or a veterinary chemical product.

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Regulations (Amendment) [Statutory Rules 1994, No. 216]

These Regulations took effect from 1 July 1994 and were repealed on 15 March 1995. They amended SR 1989, No. 165 by providing for a new structure of fees payable when applying for clearance of an agricultural or a veterinary chemical product.

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