Responsibilities

Postal officers are responsible for:
  1. placing mail on sorting tables, sorting mail and cooperating with customs and the biosecurity service staff during screening; and
  2. making requests in writing to the regional biosecurity service for additional biosecurity staff to provide adequate biosecurity services for out-of-hours and periods of peak demand.
Customs officers are responsible for:
  1. inspecting the contents of parcels and informing the biosecurity service staff if they detect any quarantine risk material;
  2. securely holding the parcel for inspection by a biosecurity officer; and
  3. being competent in the recognition and detection of biosecurity risk material.
The regional biosecurity officer is responsible for:
  1. liaison with the postal authorities and the customs service to ensure effective operation of this procedure;
  2. periodically arranging the training of customs officers on biosecurity issues, including the recognition, detection and handling of biosecurity risk material;
  3. supervising and correcting deficiencies in the performance of biosecurity officers in implementing this procedure; and
  4. ensuring that an officer is present at the post office during normal working hours and on request from the postal authorities, as well as arranging for additional staff at times of peak demands and out-of-hours service.
Biosecurity officers are responsible for:
  1. attending the post office during normal working hours, if rostered, and out of normal working hours if requested to do so;
  2. selecting parcels that are suspected of carrying biosecurity risk material because:
  • the declaration indicates it may contain biosecurity risk material; or
  • there is no declaration; or
  • the declaration does not adequately identify the contents; or
  • intuitive methods (experience, smell, touch, shape, sound) indicate it may contain biosecurity risk material;
  1. opening mail and inspecting the contents for biosecurity risk material;
  2. inspecting any material that a customs officer considers could be biosecurity risk material;
  3. inspecting the biosecurity risk material and making a decision on the basis of the import requirements on whether the goods should be released, treated, quarantined, or held for further investigation;
  4. re-packing the parcel for forwarding to the addressee if the contents can be released;
  5. detaining goods that require further quarantine action and entering details of the consignment in the Postal Register, and completing either a Notification of Detention (Animal) or a Notification of Detention (Plant) form as well as a Detention Advice.

A Permit to Land may also be used for:

  • nursery stock going into quarantine;
  • biosecurity risk material being released conditionally, i.e. after fumigation or other treatment;
  • consignments for which there is an Import Permit; and
  • low risk food items;
  1. including copies of the Notification of Detention (Animals) and / or Notification of Detention (Plants) and / or Detention Advice forms with the goods that are sent to the addressee. If all the goods are held, these forms should be sent by mail through the administrative office to the addressee;
  2. arranging for immediate treatment, or destruction, of goods that are a significant quarantine risk;
  3. forwarding goods that require fumigation to an approved fumigation company and either:
    • informing the addressees that they can retrieve their goods from the fumigator’s premises after they have paid for the treatment; or
    • retrieving, re-packing and forwarding the goods to addressees who live too far to collect them themselves;
  4. maintaining safety and security in handling, storage and transport of goods under their control until released, re-exported or destroyed;
  5. re-packing and returning goods to the sender in the event that the addressee chooses to do so, if the addressee pays for the postage;
  6. arranging for the destruction of detained goods if advice is not received from an addressee after the 30 days response time, stipulated on the Detention Advice form;
  7. forwarding specimens intercepted in postal articles for identification, giving details on the form Agriculture Quarantine Service Identification of Specimens;
  8. reporting any damage or loss of goods to the postal authorities; and
  9. maintaining accurate records on the processing of detained goods in the postal register and correctly filing all paperwork.
Addressees/importers are responsible for:
  1. responding to a request from the biosecurity service to clear goods from the post office, or pest control company, or to re-export their goods.

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