The timber import conditions review team within the Plant Import Operations section of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has now completed a preliminary draft of import conditions changes for a specified range of timber products and has established a new format BICON case scenario. At the request of the review team, the Australian Timber Importers Federation together with Customers Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association and the Australian Furniture Associated made a submission on the review process.

The delegation supported a review that seeks to streamline and simplify some existing processes; reflect the changing nature of some categories of timber product imports, and incorporate new biosecurity treatment methodologies. All importers of timber furniture and furnishing related products WILL BE IMPACTED by the review.

Minutes from the meeting and a communiqué from DAWR Plant Import Operations will be made available shortly.

The meeting covered activity since the close of submissions on the draft changes to import conditions. Early advice is that the 21-day rule will be replaced by a six month rule coupled with a manufacturer's declaration concerning biosecurity issues related to product storage. Further, advise about modifications to BICON cases and other issues will be contained in the communiqué. Plant Import Operations will also be developing a communications strategy intended to better information the timber product import industry, including customs brokers about BICON changes and associated matters. The AFA will assist in disseminating this advice once provided.

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