100% sea container checks for transitional facilities

We're changing reporting requirements for imported sea containers from July 2021. Find out about the changes and what you'll need to do.

Why we're moving to 100% container checks

We're continuing to firm up our plans to introduce full reporting of sea container movements by transitional facilities (TFs). New reporting requirements will be in place by July 2021.

Currently, TFs only report on contaminated containers, which amounts to some 2% to 10% of the traffic entering their grounds. Reporting on all containers will:

  • enhance the biosecurity system by improving sea container traceability
  • contribute to more effective import measures, border controls, and targeted post border surveillance activities
  • help assess TF performance
  • allow us to act quickly when things go wrong.

We've set up a reference group of external stakeholders so that we can work with you to make sure we get things right.

The container reporting system has been modified

We have modified the existing TF reporting system (the Container Checks portal) to allow additional reporting. This will be an interim solution until more substantial changes are made to our border information technology under the Quansuite replacement project over the next couple of years.

The information we will get from the interim reporting will increase our understanding of issues relating to unauthorised container movements, which is currently a biosecurity concern. It will also provide insights that will help us develop the final reporting tool.

Under the new reporting approach:

  • TFs will need to submit inspection results within 48 hours
  • officers will follow up any unauthorised container movements identified from the reporting.

We recognise that for empty container facilities handling high volumes of containers (10,000 or more a year), we need to take a different approach. We are working directly with these facilities to find a solution.

Some improvements to the system will take longer

The interim solution to enable 100% container check reporting is a "minimum viable product". It will solve some short-term issues around container reporting and assurance, but technology constraints won't allow us to do everything at once. A couple of things we can’t do right now, that we know are important are:

  • giving TF operators access to the Container Check portal
  • enabling business to business messaging to allow for seamless data transfer between TFs and MPI.

We expect further improvements will be made as we upgrade our border control computer systems during the next 18 to 24 months (by 2023).

We're updating guidance

To ensure the new requirements are in place and available to TF operators and accredited persons by 1 July 2021, we are updating:

  • guidance and training materials for transitional facility operators and accredited persons
  • instructions on how to use the Container Checks portal.

Container Check instructions [PDF, 1.1 MB]

How to become a transitional facility operator or an accredited person

Information on this website will be updated as the project progresses.

Find out more

21 May 2021 industry newsletter

22 April 2021 industry newsletter

7 April 2021 industry newsletter

Questions and answers about 100% container checks [PDF, 217 KB]

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