Biosecurity is an important part of managing the Australian, Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments. Biosecurity refers to measures taken to prevent the introduction or spread of organisms and/or diseases. Australia has an obligation under the Antarctic Treaty System, several international agreements and national legislation to protect the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environment.

Cargo movements to and from the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic, as part of the Australian Antarctic Program, are strictly controlled to ensure we keep these environments free from biosecurity risks.

Cargo biosecurity process

If you are involved in supplying, procuring, consigning, consolidating or packing cargo for the Australian Antarctic Program, you must ensure all items are clean and free of biosecurity risk material before delivery to the AAD.

Cargo that is shipped or flown to and from the Antarctic or sub-Antarctic Stations, is processed through biosecurity screening. The AAD's Supply Chain Operations section undertake three measures to prevent the introduction and/or spread of biosecurity risk materials.

  • Biosecurity measure 1 – External inspection of cargo surfaces
  • Biosecurity measure 2 – Internal inspection of cargo transport units, cargo consolidation and packing, and internal fogging of cargo transport units
  • Biosecurity measure 3 – External inspection and fogging of containers and break bulk cargo

The AAD Kingston Warehouse and the Cargo and Biosecurity Centre (CBC) maintain an ongoing pest control program designed to intercept any insects, rodents or pests. The CBC also maintain additional measures such as fogging and rodent dog-detection services. If you have cargo that requires an exemption from biosecurity treatments, please contact before your cargo is delivered to the AAD, and ensure cargo is clearly labelled on delivery so that it can be stored away from areas subject to fogging processes.

Biosecurity Risk Materials (BRM)

Biosecurity Risk Materials (BRM) are any materials that can pose a risk to the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments.

This includes items such as:

  • Live animals
  • Evidence of animal incursion, such as, feathers, fur, feaces, fluids and carcasses
  • Food scraps
  • Live insects
  • Evidence of insect incursion, such as, nests, spider webs, wings, shells and casings
  • Plant materials, such as, seeds, leaves, bark, branches, roots, straw and flowers
  • Plant pathogens, such as, fungi, nematodes and mould
  • Untreated timber
  • Dirt and soil
  • Water, such as, rainwater pooling in indentations and on top of cargo stored outside

Common places to find Biosecurity Risk Materials (BRM) include:

  • On the inside and/or outside surface of boxes/containers
  • Piping or exposed openings
  • Attached to machinery or vehicles
  • In packaging including plastic wrapping and cardboard boxes
  • Worn or used clothing, equipment, gear and/or footwear
  • Food products
  • Timber products

If Biosecurity Risk Materials (BRM) are identified, remove contaminants before on forwarding your cargo to the AAD; cargo that is delivered unclean may be turned away to avoid contaminating other cargo.

Don’t pack a pest; take it new or take it clean

Help us protect the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments:

  • Ensure you use new or clean existing boxes/containers
  • Ensure all items inside boxes/containers are clean prior to being packed
  • Ensure you properly seal boxes/containers to prevent potential BRM incursion
  • Don’t leave packed cargo in exposed areas for long periods
  • All waste on stations must be returned to Australia, help minimise waste by reducing packing materials
  • Use environmentally friendly packaging and remove any loose chips, beads or finely shredded materials
  • Some items are prohibited, unless under a permit. These include polystyrene beads/chips, radio-isotopes and pesticides

Remember that all cargo must arrive to the AAD clean and free from any biosecurity risk materials or prohibited items.