Advice on importation of feather bonnets

Pipe Bands Australia has today received a response from Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to its representations on BICON changes affecting the importation of feather bonnets and hackles.

The Minister has advised: “Red tape associated with the importation of personal consignments (maximum of ten articles per person) of manufactured articles containing feathers has been reduced. Neither an import permit nor any documentation is required. However, goods will be inspected on arrival and treated if contaminated. 'This scenario can be expected to apply when your band members perform at international events and return to Australia with their bonnets and hackles. Please note that there is no cost associated with the inspection of goods at airports or mail centres but if treatment is required costs will naturally apply.

“The import conditions for commercial consignments (greater than ten articles per person) of manufactured articles containing feathers were also updated as a result of this review. Although I do not have the specific details of the goods that your members wish to import, additional costs could result from updated certification requirements. The updated conditions no longer recognise ethylene oxide fumigation as an appropriate treatment and all other treatment types must be endorsed by a relevant government officer in the exporting country. However, the costs associated with document endorsement can be avoided if the goods are treated on arrival in Australia.”

Minister Littleproud says biosecurity has played “a critical role in reducing risk and shaping our nation to become one of the few countries in the world to remain free from the world's most severe pests and diseases. To minimise the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering Australia, this government recently invested $200 million to improve Australia's ability to detect and manage biosecurity risks early on and in turn minimise damage to our farmers, the environment and the economy. As part of this investment, a review of all import conditions has been underway. As a consequence of this review, the import conditions for feathers were updated in December 2017 to ensure that import requirements are clear and appropriately manage biosecurity risk.”

Pipe Bands Australia wrote to the minister following concerns from bands and retailers with implementation of new BICON procedures.


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