Importing Agricultural Chemicals or Veterinary Medicines

The APVMA registers agricultural and veterinary chemical products for use in Australia. Once registered, persons must use these products and not attempt to import products with similar names registered for use in other countries. Such imported products may not be identical to the APVMA registered products and are unlikely to carry the APVMA approved label designed to meet Australian requirements for efficacy and safety.

Ordering products over the internet and importation for ‘private use’

Individuals should be aware that the importation of unregistered agricultural chemical products or veterinary medicines is an offence without prior written consent from the APVMA and that generally no such consent is issued to individuals for ‘private use’.

Agricultural chemical products

Agricultural chemical products may only be ordered if you have first obtained an APVMA Permit. For information on permits, including application forms see the Permits section.

If a permit is issued, you will also need to apply for and be issued with a Consent to Import. The Consent to Import application form is available below.

Read about the repercussions of importing an unregistered product without consent.

Veterinary medicines

Individuals must not import veterinary medicines from overseas. The APVMA will however give consideration to applications lodged by registered veterinarians for the importation of unregistered veterinary medicines when imported for application or administration to an animal under the direct care of the veterinarian. See criteria 1(g) below.

If a registered product is available in Australia, the APVMA will not provide consent to veterinarians wishing to import products with similar names that are registered overseas.

Read the APVMA’s reminder on the risks of buying veterinary medicines from overseas websites.

Consent to import unapproved active constituents or unregistered agricultural or veterinary chemical products

A person must not import into Australia an unregistered agricultural or veterinary chemical product or an unapproved active constituent, unless it has either been exempted from the importation provisions or the importer has obtained a Consent to Import from the APVMA, as mandated under section 69(B) of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992.

The provisions in the legislation which prohibit the importation of unapproved active constituents or unregistered products allow the APVMA to more effectively control imported agricultural and veterinary chemicals at a single point (Customs barrier), rather that at multiple points in the marketplace. A Consent to Import may be provided by the APVMA to allow persons to import unregistered agricultural and veterinary chemical products and unapproved active constituents under special but limited circumstances.

Criteria to be met for the issue of Consent to Import

1. For unregistered products:

  1. The unregistered product being imported is for use in research trials pursuant to a Permit issued by the APVMA. This requires evidence of a current (search for a permit) or pending permit; or
  2. The unregistered product being imported is for use under the conditions of an APVMA Small-scale Trial Permit (PER7250) (PDF, 73kb). This category requires provision of details to satisfy key conditions of the permit; or
  3. The unregistered product is for supply/use (including minor use or emergency use) under a Permit issued by the APVMA. This requires evidence of a current (search for a permit) or pending permit; or
  4. The unregistered product is being imported for relabelling for other markets, will not be registered in Australia and will be exported from Australia. This category requires evidence of a current (search for a permit) or pending Category 19 (Export) Permit; or
  5. The unregistered product is a product for which an application has been lodged, registration fees have been paid, registration is imminent and the product is required to be supplied immediately following registration. The pending registration and application numbers are to be quoted but issue of a Consent to Import under this criteria is limited and not always guaranteed. This category may be subject to the imposition of a compulsory ‘not supply’ notice and details may be published in the APVMA Gazette; or
  6. The unregistered product is being imported for limited promotions (such as international sports events or trade shows where the product will not be supplied in Australia and will be re-exported or destroyed at the completion of the event). Evidence of re-exportation or destruction of the product in this category would need to be provided to the APVMA; or
  7. The unregistered product is being imported by a registered veterinary surgeon for use on an animal under the direct care of that veterinary surgeon. The use of the product would need to be permitted under a law of the State or Territory in which the veterinary surgeon is registered and the veterinary surgeon would need to be satisfied that suitable equivalent registered products were not readily available in Australia.

2. For unapproved actives:

  1. The unapproved active is being imported for incorporation into an unregistered product for use in research trials pursuant to a Permit issued by the APVMA. This category requires evidence of a current (search for a permit) or pending permit; or
  2. The unapproved active is being imported for incorporation into an unregistered product for use in research trials under the conditions of an APVMA Small-scale Trial Permit (PER7250) (PDF, 73kb). This category requires provision of details to satisfy key conditions of the permit; or
  3. The unapproved active is being imported for incorporation into an unregistered product for supply/use (including minor use or emergency use) under a Permit issued by the APVMA. This requires evidence of a current (search for a permit) or pending permit; or
  4. The unapproved active is to be incorporated into products that will not be registered in Australia and will be exported from Australia. This category requires evidence of a current (search for a permit) or pending Category 19 (Export) Permit; or
  5. The unapproved active is to be incorporated into a product for which an application has been lodged, registration fees have been paid, registration is imminent and the product is required to be supplied immediately following registration. The pending registration and application numbers are to be quoted but issue of a Consent to Import under this criteria is limited and not always guaranteed. This category may be subject to the imposition of a compulsory ‘not supply’ notice and details may appear in the APVMA Gazette; or
  6. The unapproved active is being imported by a pharmacist to be manufactured into an unregistered product in accordance with an instruction from a veterinary surgeon.
  7. The unapproved active is being imported by a registered veterinary surgeon for compounding into an unregistered product for use on an animal under the direct care of that veterinary surgeon. The use of the product would need to be permitted under a law of the State or Territory in which the veterinary surgeon is registered and the veterinary surgeon would need to be satisfied that suitable equivalent registered products were not readily available in Australia.

A person who imports an unapproved active constituent or an unregistered product under Consent to Import cannot on-supply to other parties in Australia unless a permit specifically allows for such action.

Applications for Consent to Import

Applications for a Consent to Import may be made using the following forms:

Additional Approvals

Importers should be aware that some commodities require additional approvals from agencies other than the APVMA. It is the importer's responsibility to check with these agencies:

GMP Requirements for Imported Veterinary Chemical Products

For veterinary chemical products manufactured overseas the registrant must demonstrate that the product is manufactured to quality standards (ie. Codes of GMP) comparable to those applying to veterinary chemical products manufactured in Australia. 

Contacts

Import Consents

  • For approval to import unregistered products and unapproved active constituents.

Phone: +61 2 6210 4793

Fax: +61 2 6210 4813

Email: importconsent@apvma.gov.au

For veterinary chemical products manufactured overseas

Good Manufacturing Practice

  • Manufacture of veterinary chemicals

Phone: +61 2 6210 4899

Fax: +61 2 6210 4741

Email: mls@apvma.gov.au

Last updated on 21 September, 2011

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