Steps to get a transitional or containment facility approved

Transitional and containment facilities must meet standards and get MPI approval. Find out what you need to do to get a facility approved.

Follow the steps 

Expand All
Check you're eligible to submit an application

MPI has some core requirements you must meet before submitting your application.

Facilities covered by this process

This process covers steps to get a transitional or containment facility approved to receive goods that aren't in containers. If you want approval for a facility that can accept air and sea containers, there is a different process to follow (some facilities may need both processes).

Answer these questions to find out if you're ready to apply

1 Have you found the right facility standard for the goods you plan to import?   Review the list of facility standards

Check the scope in the facility standards to decide which one applies to your facility.

2 Have you assessed your site against the facility standard?  

Read the requirements in the facility standard. Assess your site and fix any non-compliances.
If you are planning to import air or sea containers as well, you must also follow:

Contact your local MPI office for advice.


Have you prepared an operating manual?


Document how your facility meets the requirements in the relevant facility standard.
Your operating manual must describe:

  • how each part of your business operates
  • who is responsible for supervising different parts of your operations
  • what records provide evidence of compliance.

We recommend you develop operating procedures based on ISO 9001.
Some facility standards have related templates or guidance that you can use to make your operating manual.
Contact your local MPI office if you need help.


Have you checked the costs of applying and ongoing approval?

  Check the Biosecurity (Costs) Amendment Regulations 2015

Note: You will be charged for the costs and time involved processing your transitional facility application whether or not it's approved. It's in your best interests to ensure your application is complete before you send it to us.  

When you can answer 'yes' to all 4 questions, you're ready to start making your application. You can proceed to Step 2 

Find out about the approval process

Where to find requirements for getting your facility approved.

Contact MPI

Contact your local biosecurity inspector for information on setting up a facility before applying for approval.

You can also request a facility approvals information pack from the national facilities team.

Facility approval costs

You'll be charged a minimum of:

  • $887.70 (+GST) for processing an approval of a facility and facility operator 
  • $887.70 (+GST) for processing an approval of a change of operator.

You'll be charged:

  • $102.27 (+GST) per hour for inspection and auditing services
  • an annual fee of $298.05 (+GST) for an approved facility.
Prepare documentation

Complete forms and prepare supporting material.

Complete the required forms

You will need to complete an Application for approval of an MPI transitional or containment facility and/or operator regardless of your type of transitional or containment facility.

Additional documentation that you will need to send with your application will depend on whether you are applying for:

  • approval of a new facility
  • a change in approval (change in facility location or type of goods)
  • a change of ownership or name of a facility.
Checklist of other required documentation

The application for approval form has a checklist of other required documentation, with links to downloadable forms. Use the checklist to make sure you have prepared all the required documents.

Provide facility operator details

Every facility must have an approved operator who has overall responsibility for the facility.

Only operators of transitional facilities approved to the Standard for General Transitional Facilities for Uncleared Goods and the Post-entry Quarantine for Plants Facility Standard must complete a training course to be an approved operator.

You will need to provide the following operator details with your application for facility approval:

  • copy of the operator certificate of training, if required
  • operator's residential address, country of birth and phone number
  • copy of operator's photo identification (such as driver's licence or passport).
Apply for facility approval

Send documentation and find out processing times.

Send your completed documentation to:

What happens next?

Only completed applications can be processed. Applications with all the required information will be placed into the queue for processing. The approval process can take up to 6 weeks.

MPI will contact you to organise a site visit. Following completion of any recommended actions, you will be notified whether your facility has been approved or not.

Incomplete applications

If you don't provide everything we need, we will contact you to request the missing information. We won't start processing your application until we receive the remaining information.

You will need to provide the remaining documentation to MPI within 10 working days from the request from MPI.

If you don't provide everything we need, we'll decline your application and tell you why. You'll need to re-submit the entire application.


Who to contact

To send an application for approval, change of approval, or to get advice about a facility, contact the national facilities team:

To talk to MPI about facility approvals:

  • call 0800 22 20 18 (Option 5).
Last reviewed: