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Source: Australia Government Statements – Agriculture

194-2020 – Correctly reporting sea containers destined for rural locations
Tue, 2020-11-17 15:34

17 November 2020

Who does this notice affect?

Stakeholders in the import and shipping industries including importers, customs brokers, freight forwarders, transport companies, shipping lines, stevedores and any other operators in the sea container supply and logistics chain that are responsible for reporting or managing sea containers arriving into Australia.

What has changed?

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department) is reminding industry stakeholders of their responsibility to correctly declare the delivery destination in the Integrated Cargo System (ICS) for sea containers entering Australia.

Imported sea containers can carry a range of hitchhikers and contaminants which could introduce exotic pests and diseases into our environment. Sea containers destined for rural areas pose a higher risk than metropolitan locations, due to the likelihood of pests and diseases establishing quickly and the difficulty in detecting and controlling these once established. As such, all imported sea containers destined to be unpacked in rural areas are subject to heightened biosecurity measures on arrival, including a mandatory rural tailgate inspection at a metropolitan location in the port of discharge prior to delivery. The department uses postcode classifications to manage the risk associated with rural and metropolitan delivery destinations for sea containers. To check if your postcode is considered rural or for further information about rural tailgates, visit the Sea container delivery postcode classification webpage.

‘ The department applies a range of regulatory tools to monitor compliance with its regulatory requirements. It is important to understand your obligations under the Biosecurity Act 2015 as a failure to do so, may result in fines or Civil penalties.

Reporting a suspected biosecurity breach

If you suspect or have information that sea containers may be incorrectly reported or are bypassing the department’s mandatory rural inspection requirements, you can anonymously report this information via the departments Redline on 1800 803 006. You can also report Biosecurity breaches using the online Reportable biosecurity incident form.


Pests and diseases can spread quickly over large distances, so it is important that biosecurity incidents are reported as soon as practicable. You can report through the hotline on 1800 798 636, or by completing the online reporting form.

Further information

For further information regarding delivery postcode classifications and the reporting of sea containers destined for rural locations, contact the department via email or phone 1800 900 090.