News & Insights
How to Safely Import Materials for Asbestos Testing
It is the responsibility of importers and exporters to ensure they do not import or export prohibited goods such as asbestos. The Australian Border Force (ABF) must be assured that no asbestos is present at the time of import or export. They state that any risk of asbestos content must be addressed before shipment to Australia.
Importers must be aware of their supply chain including the origin and manufacturing process of parts and components, particularly those at risk of containing asbestos.
Asbestos is still used outside Australia in many applications. Despite the known threat to human health, local standards allow low levels of particular types of asbestos to be used for manufacturing. Goods manufactured outside Australia might be labelled "asbestos free" and still contain low levels of asbestos. Such goods will not be permitted for import into Australia, except in very limited circumstances.
A key step is sampling and testing for asbestos content before shipping the goods to Australia.
Greencap has the largest network of NATA-accredited Asbestos Testing Laboratories in Australia, and holds permission to import samples of both possible amphibole and serpentine asbestos for the purpose of research or analysis in accordance with ‘Subsection 4C(2) of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956’ (Permission No. AA19/26)
Importation of Materials for Asbestos Testing
Ensure lab is NATA accredited
Ensure lab has current permit
Permission to Import Asbestos for Research or Analysis through the Australian Government Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency
Contact lab with details of Sample Analysis Request
Lab coordinates importation and provides Import Permit Number
Lab arranges collection / secure transportation to testing facility
Testing for asbestos completed in NATA accredited lab
Lab provides Report
Report prepared in accordance with Australian Standard AS4964 outlining results of testing and advice for importation
Download the Guide
Greencap have prepared a handy one-page PDF of the steps above to assist businesses that may need to import items to test for asbestos.
Australian Border Force Guidance
The Australian Border Force (ABF) page on Prohibited Goods is a comprehensive guide for importers. It lists goods that are considered a risk for containing asbestos, countries from which goods have been shipped from that contain asbestos have been detected, and steps to implement that ensure goods that are manufactured overseas that may be at-risk products are identified.
The steps to implement focus on both the sampling and testing for prohibited goods. It is important to note that the ABF’s preference is to have sampling conducted by an asbestos professional prior to entry into Australia. If goods are shipped without prior testing and are stopped by the ABF, there may be significant holding fees and delays while arrangements are made for the testing in Australia. Speak to Greencap to discuss how the team of Licensed Asbestos Assessors can provide assurance that the ABF will accept the sampling process part of their processing.
Speak to an Expert
For expert advice on asbestos testing and safe importation, contact: