Asbestos – New Very Important Regulations

New Asbestos Community Protection Questions

Quite a number of goods being imported into Australia are now prompting the Customs broker to answer the question; Do these goods contain asbestos?’

 The Customs broker cannot answer ‘no’ to this question without sufficient documentation.

 It is the responsibility of importers to ensure they do not import or export prohibited goods such as asbestos. Should the Australian Border Force (ABF) suspect goods arriving at the border contain asbestos, the goods will be held and examined. 

Before goods are imported to Australia, importers must have adequate assurance that the goods being imported do not contain asbestos. This can be achieved by engaging with their overseas suppliers early and confirming that asbestos was not used in the supply chain. Importers must not assume that goods contain nil asbestos content.

The ABF expects importers to undertake adequate assurance measures to demonstrate that the goods they are importing that are known to be at risk of containing asbestos, or goods supplied from countries with asbestos producing industries, do not contain asbestos.

The nature and level of information within the supporting documentation may provide adequate assurance depending on the risk of the goods containing asbestos. Several types of documentation may be necessary to demonstrate sufficient level of assurance. A non-exhaustive list of examples of supporting documentation is provided below: 

         Declarations from importers and/or suppliers which state that the goods have nil asbestos content

         Documentation outlining the level of assurances taken throughout the supply chain

         Invoices demonstrating the supplier of the goods

         Information about the supply chain and possible quality assurance process in place

         Illustrative Descriptive Material

         Ingredient lists

         Test certificate or laboratory report

         Material Safety Data sheets


Solely relying on a declaration that states the goods have nil asbestos content from an importer and/or supplier may not provide adequate assurance. In the event that a customs broker receives a declaration from an importer that the goods have nil asbestos content, before relying on that declaration, the customs broker should ensure they have an understanding of what assurances/supporting documentation the importer obtained to support the making of the declaration.


Please take a moment to read the attached factsheet and if you have any queries, feel free to contact your CEO representative for further information.

Download PDF