top of page

Impacts to DAWE Service Standards in Victoria and New South Wales

With the high volumes of inspection request and services in Victoria and New South Wales, the ability of DAWE (the department) to meet service standards for inspection bookings in the coming weeks, and possibly beyond could be greatly impacted. This is due to a combination of high volumes of incoming cargo, our borders reopening to passengers and cruise vessels, a changing biosecurity risk profile, as well as the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, both across the department's workforce and at third party premises. As a result, inspection appointments are experiencing delays and in some cases are needing to be rescheduled, often at short notice.

Since January 2022, the department facilitated over 20,000 client-initiated inspection bookings in Victoria and New South Wales. If we look at statistics for this year compared to the same period last year, imported cargo declarations for 1 July 2021 to 28 February 2022 have increased by 17%; while high-value cargo has increased by 4%; and low-value cargo has increased by 18%.

On top of managing the increasing biosecurity profile, especially in this period of enormous trade and global pandemic disruption, and all the current delays, efforts are also being made to manage increased workload and meet the service standards by the department.

How is the department responding?

Resources are being diverted from other areas to assist with surge capacity where possible, particularly across the inspection and booking functions. New recruits are being deployed where we can. Inspecting cargos on weekends and after normal business hours are also being offered.

The department is also actively working to bring forward delayed appointments for other cargo while prioritizing highly perishable airfreight consignments and live animal imports.

Continues implementation of new initiatives and technologies to streamline the way we work including changes to our IT systems, the phased deployment of the Biosecurity Portal to automate the booking process, and automation of our assessment and workload management systems..

These initiatives have and will continue to deliver efficiencies in the biosecurity system including time and cost savings to the industry.

How industry can help?

Below is information that may assist in avoiding delays in processing your requests for inspection:

• Many LRNs are not able to be finalised at the initial assessment because of a lack of information from the client. These initial assessments are taking up time and do get put back into the queuing system pending the information being supplied. We encourage you to check LRNs for completeness and accuracy prior to submission.

• The inspection appointment provided is the next available at the time of processing your booking request. Please do not repeatedly call or email the department checking on the status of your request for inspection as this compounds delays.

• Ready Now: If your goods are ready at short notice, notify the department by selecting this option on your booking request and you will be placed on a priority list to gain an appointment should cancellations occur. It is important to note that this is for short notice availability, and you would need to be able to present the goods within 30 minutes.

• Extended hours:

The department offers out-of-hours inspections. If you would like to select this option, please nominate your goods availability and preferred day and time. Note overtime is subject to availability and additional charges may apply if the inspection takes place before 6:30am or after 6:30pm, Monday to Friday, on the weekend or on Public Holidays. Late submission may not be able to be accommodated.

• Ensure any specific additional information is included in the ‘additional information’ field in your request for inspection and consider adequate notice when requesting your inspection appointment.

For further general information about this Import Industry Advice Notice, please contact the department or Image International Freight representative,


bottom of page