Global Agriculture

Draft Report of the Independent Review of the Agvet Chemicals Regulatory System

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16 December 2020, Australia: The independent panel has released its draft report on the review of Australia’s agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemicals regulatory system.  Public comments are invited by 26 February 2021.

Ensuring farmers have access to agvet chemicals that are both safe and effective is crucial to our agricultural and livestock industries, the community and the environment.

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The panel’s draft recommendations strengthen the identity, vision and leadership of agvet chemicals regulation, and provide for a regulatory system fit for the next 30 years.

The recommendations enhance the existing protections for the health and safety of humans, animals and the environment, while improving access to safe chemical products and broadening the range of uses of products already in the market.

In developing the recommendations in the draft report, the panel consulted with 188 stakeholder groups and received 100 submissions to its Issues Paper which was released in March 2020.

The report’s 139 recommendations will deliver significant benefits to a broad range of industry and agvet chemicals users, especially farmers, across Australia, with a conservative estimate of around $160 million in savings in regulatory costs to industry over 10 years.

Some of the key draft reforms include:

nationally consistent control of use of agvet chemicals under a single national law, administered by the Commonwealth, which enables:

a single national licensing framework for professional users of pesticides and veterinary medicines

access to uses based on climatic region instead of state boundaries

a national produce and environmental monitoring program

improved access for Australian users of agvet chemicals, via a licensing pathway, for safe and effective products already registered by a comparable international regulator

enhanced leadership, consultation and surveillance for the whole regulatory system via a Commissioner for Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Stewardship

a revised scope for the regulatory system, utilising tailored pathways based on risk, better focusing regulatory effort to where it is most needed

‘fast track’ access to market through prioritised registration for products meeting a specific set of criteria. 

Substance-based active constituent approvals, rather than site of manufacture improving the resilience of the supply chain

The panel invites comment on the draft recommendations to refine them prior to providing its final report to the Minister in May 2021.

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