A submission to the review of the Import Risk Analysis (IRA) process by the Department of Agriculture conducted between July and September 2014. The IRA process assesses potential biosecurity risk associated with a good proposed for import into Australia and suggests how these risk will be managed.
The submission argues that there needs to be systematic risk-based approach to determining priorities for import risk analyses and that this approach needs to include environmental criteria. This process should be applied both to new import proposals for which risk management measures have not been established and existing imports for which risk management measures are proving inadequate.
We believe the IRA process could be significantly improved by replacing the conflicted decision-making role of Secretary of Department of Agriculture with an independent body, making greater use of environmental experts, applying the precautionary principle as required by international law and improving the appeals process.
A review of the ‘non-regulated’ risk assessment process should also be carried out.
The submission was made in September 2014.