Legislative amendments to registration and regulatory processes for agricultural and veterinary chemicals

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment Act 2013 (Cth) will come into force on 1 July 2014.  The legislation will update and amend registration and regulatory processes relating to agricultural and veterinary ("agvet") chemicals, such as domestic insect sprays and repellents, home garden plant treatments for diseases, pesticides and medicines for animals.  In particular, changes will be made to the approval, registration, chemical review and compliance process for agvet chemicals under acts such as the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994

According to the regulatory body for agvet chemical products – the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) – the new legislation will amend the suite of legislation that relates to the powers and functions of the APVMA in regulating agvet chemicals and is designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of current arrangements.  Once the changes are implemented, the current and new arrangements will run concurrently for a 12 month transitional period up until 30 June 2015.

Draft regulatory guidelines will assist in understanding the new agvet legislation

As part of the process, regulatory guidelines are being prepared by the APVMA to assist in understanding the legislative changes.  The new guidelines will replace the existing Manual of Requirements and Guidelines (MORAG) and will set out information regarding pre-application requirements, the application process, information guidelines and standards, monitoring and reporting of agvet chemicals such as pesticides and various veterinary medicines.  MORAG will be phased out from 1 July 2014.

Public consultation on the APVMA regulatory guidelines

The draft regulatory guidelines were published on a new sub-site of the APVMA website on 29 January 2014 and a formal consultation process also began on that date.  Written submissions regarding the comprehensiveness, readability, usability and any errors of the draft regulatory guidelines are invited from interested stake holders up until 31 March 2014.  After consultation closes, final guidelines will be published and made available at the end of April 2014.  The new guidelines will then be published, and a new APVMA website launched, in July 2014.