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Import, transport, storage and disposal​

Dealing with a genetically modified organism (GMO) is illegal unless authorised. Find out more about the requirements for importing, and the guidelines for transporting, storing and disposing of GMOs or products containing GMOs.

Importing GMOs and products containing GMOs

We work closely with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) especially on the importation of genetically modified (GM) seeds and grains.

You must notify DAWE when importing:

  • GM seed or grain
  • seed or grain that is known to be mixed with any amount of a GM material.

You must also provide details of the relevant authorisation under the Gene Technology Act 2000 (the Act), such as an OGTR licence number. To verify authorisation, we may share information with DAWE.

If you want to import any GMO other than GM seed or grain you must also have a licence or other authorisation to deal with the GMO in Australia. This authorisation must include the transport of the GMO from the border. You must ensure the package containing the GMO meets any packaging and labelling requirements included in the authorisation. You should also consult DAWE to find out whether you need an import permit.

Contact us for Information on how to apply for a licence or other authorisation under the Act. Importers should apply well in advance of importing.

Transporting, storing and disposing of GMOs

Any notifiable low risk dealing (NLRD) involving transportation, storage or disposal of a GMO, outside of certified facilities, must adhere to the Guidelines for the Transport, Storage and Disposal of GMOs. Transport during import or export of a GMO authorised under an NLRD must also comply with the guidelines. This is unless the Gene Technology Regulator has agreed otherwise in writing.

The Regulator may also require compliance with the guidelines:

  • as a condition of a licence
  • as a condition of a certification
  • as part of a direction given under section 146 of the Act and equivalent provisions of corresponding state law.
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