Implementation of the changes to import conditions for manufactured wooden articles outlined below in the Australian Government Release will be deployed in September 2017 to give importers reasonable time to meet the new conditions. As reported, the Australian Furniture Association has been involved in meetings with the Department to discuss the implementation of the new conditions.
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TIMBER AND TIMBER PRODUCTS BICON CASE CONSULTATION MEETING The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources met with representatives from the Australian Furniture Association, the Australian Timber Importers Federation Inc. and the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia Inc. on 28 February, 2017. Attendees discussed changes to import conditions and certification requirements for manufactured wooden articles proposed by the department. These proposed changes form part of a broad change to the BICON case structure for timber and timber products. The proposed changes include extending the time between treatment to export for manufactured wooden articles from 21 days to 6 months, and a new requirement of a manufacturer’s or supplier’s declaration about appropriate storage after treatment. The declaration will support this extension of time between treatment and export. The department explained that a longer allowable period to treat goods prior to export will benefit industry, lower biosecurity risks and reduce non-compliance. The new certification requirements about storage will provide additional assurance that biosecurity risks are being effectively managed, without a major impact on importers. The department provided a draft set of guidelines to participants that explain what the new certification requirements will achieve (treatment at an appropriate time), and what the manufacturers or suppliers need to do before they provide the new certification. When finalised, the guidelines will be publically available. The department is considering a template for the new declarations, which will assist with consistent assessment criteria and avoid delays. Attendees agreed that publishing the new BICON case structure is beneficial and should be implemented as soon as possible. However, it was agreed that the implementation of the changes to import conditions for manufactured wooden articles outlined will be delayed until September 2017 to give importers reasonable time to meet the new conditions. Participants confirmed that Import Industry Advice Notices and BICON alerts were the best methods for the department to communicate with stakeholders