Import and export of explosives

Explosives information bulletin no. 21 | 31 August 2017 | Version 4

This information bulletin applies to the import and export of explosives under the Explosives Act 1999 (the Act) where the explosives are either imported into Queensland from another country or exported to another country through sea ports and airports.

The import and export of explosives does not apply to:

  • an explosive that is part of the operational equipment of a road vehicle or boat including airbags and distress signals are a part of the boat's safety equipment
  • explosives brought into Queensland from another Australian State or Territory
  • Customs Prohibited Export Regulation 1958.

Licences and permits

Licences and permits for the import and export of explosives are issued to individuals, partnerships or companies under the Act as follows:

  • Import an explosive:
    • Licence to Import Explosives
    • Permit to Import Explosives
  • Export an explosive:
    • Licence to Export Explosives
    • Permit to Export Explosives

The licence or permit will be endorsed for the type of explosives requested on the application. The safety management system and security plan must address these types of explosives otherwise they will not be covered by the licence or permit. The plan must include system and operational procedures for the whole of the import and export activities.

A separate licence or permit for import or export of collectors' ammunition is not required as importing and exporting is allowed with the Licence to Collect Ammunition.

Explosives can only be imported or exported by the person who owns or will own the explosives at the time of import or export. A licence or permit will not be approved for the import or export of explosives by a third party.

Licences

A licence to import explosives authorises the holder of the authority to—

  • bring the explosives stated in the licence into Queensland from another country;
    and
  • possess the explosives for the purpose of bringing them, under the licence, into Queensland.

A licence to export explosives authorises the holder of the authority to—

  • send the explosives stated in the licence from Queensland to another country;
    and
  • possess the explosives for the purpose of sending them, under the licence, to another country.

A licence to import explosives or export explosives does not authorise the licence holder to purchase, sell, transport or store explosives.

Permits

A permit for the import and export of explosives will be issued under the following conditions and circumstances.

  • The import or export activity is a one off and is generally not business related.
  • Where explosives are destined for another country and are being held in Queensland for a short period for transhipment to the other country, provided it is a one off case. If the transhipment is a regular event, licences to import and export explosives are required.
  • Where the explosives for an importer licensed in another Australian state or territory were intended to be imported into another state but instead were diverted to a Queensland port by the shipping company and not the importer.

A permit to import explosives authorises the holder to—

  • bring into Queensland from another country, on the day and in the way stated in the permit, the explosives stated in the permit;
    and
  • possess the explosives for the purpose of bringing them, under the permit, into Queensland.

A permit to export explosives authorises the holder to—

  • send from Queensland to another country, on the day and in the way stated in the permit, the explosives stated in the permit;
    and
  • possess the explosives for the purpose of sending them, under the permit, to another country.

A permit to import explosives or export explosives does not authorise the permit holder to purchase, sell, transport or store explosives.

A permit is not renewable.

Safety and security management systems

The importer and exporter must have a safety management system and security management system. The security management system is not required for unrestricted explosives which are explosives where a licence or permit is not required for possession.

The management systems for import and export must cover for import and export as appropriate, the system procedures and operational procedures as outlined in Schedule 3 of the Explosives Regulation 2017. The systems must address the specific issues and matters applicable to good practice and compliance for—

  • the sea port or airport
  • the condition of the explosive – see the Requirements for the condition of explosives being imported or exported under (Section 54 of the Explosives Regulation 2017)
  • every explosive imported or exported under the licence or permit
  • quarantine requirements
  • plans to manage unplanned credible events where the explosives, packing, shipping container are unsafe, damaged, out of specification or incorrectly classified
  • receipt inspection to confirm quality and accuracy of supply for quantity and product
  • condition of shipping container
  • confirmation of integrity of security through locks, seals, etc.
  • contamination
  • import and export explosives being safe for transport
  • the representative or agent of importer to manage the import during unloading and handling activities.

Requirements for the condition of explosives being imported or exported.

Importers and exporters must ensure their management systems cover the requirements for the condition of explosives outlined as follows.

  • The importer or exporter is reasonably satisfied the explosive is in a safe condition for transport.
  • For imports, a competent person with the authority to make decisions and give directions about the safety, security and rectification of the import explosives must inspect the shipment to ensure that the shipment is safe and suitable before being offered for transport for the intended first journey.
  • The first journey provisions, in the Australian Explosives Code, allows transport for 5 days and therefore the load must be safe and suitable for the whole first journey.
  • Equipment and other methods of detection that are capable of identifying safety and security issues for shipments and in particular inside sea shipping containers must be used.
  • Explosives that are neither safe nor suitable for transport must either be rectified in a nominated secure area under the safety management system, if unsafe for any form of transport or if it is safe under controlled conditions be sent to the nearest Government Explosives Reserve for destuffing, remediation and rectification.
  • Examples include but are not limited to wet and collapsed packaging, damaged packaging, loose and spilt explosive compositions and articles, unlined shipping containers, nails or stuffing or dunnage penetrating or capable of penetrating explosives articles and compositions during handling and transport, poorly stacked pallets, defective and broken pallets, inadequate load security stowage and dunnage, unsuitable shipping container.
  • the explosive has been classified under the United Nations model regulations or another classification system approved by the Chief Inspector in accordance with section 12 of the Explosives Regulation 2017. Evidence of classification and test results from a recognised testing authority may be required.
  • the packaging is marked with the correct classification code for the explosive as determined in the dot point above.
  • the explosive is an authorised explosive in Queensland. (Refer to Information Bulletin 71 - list of authorised explosives and Information Bulletin 10 - Authorisation of explosives and trials of unauthorised/prohibited explosives in Queensland). Explosives are regarded as being unauthorised when the explosive is non-compliant and differs from the authorisation in terms of composition, quality, and character. Examples include being out of life, out of specification, contaminated, overfilled boosters, leaking composition.
  • the explosive is packaged, marked and labelled as required under—
    • the Australian explosives code;
      or
    • the Australian dangerous goods code;
    • on the request of an inspector, a technical safety data sheet for the explosive can be provided
  • the holder has taken reasonable steps to ensure the explosive will function as it was designed to function. Steps include documentation to demonstrate compliance with specifications, testing, sampling, performance and other regulatory requirements. Sampling and testing of the import explosives is included in the importer's safety management system.

Representatives and agents.

Importers and exporters of explosives must take reasonable steps to ensure that their representatives and agents are:

  • an appropriate person who is authorised to possess explosives
  • the authorised person is written into the security plan
  • competent in the handling of the explosive
  • aware of their obligations and relevant requirements under the Act
  • trained in the hazards and properties of the explosive
  • able to recognise a dangerous situation
  • working within the importers safety and security management system and associated procedures.

The importer must ensure their representative or agent is available during the entire loading and unloading of the explosive and is empowered and capable of addressing and accepting responsibility for the importer to fix any issues that may arise including safety, security, quarantine and transport that must be actioned.

Notice of intention

A notification form must be completed by the licence or permit holder who intends to import or export explosives to or from Queensland. This form must be submitted to the Chief Inspector of Explosives as at least seven days prior to the activity being undertaken.

The information provided on the form will include:

  • the proper shipping name and authorised name of the explosives (including UN number and classification)
  • conformation that the explosive is authorised
  • the quantity of explosives including the total NEQ
  • the point of entry/exit into/out of Queensland
  • the anticipated date of arrival/departure
  • the name and address of the consignor and consignee for the explosives
  • name of the competent person, representative and agent
  • for ammonium nitrate imports, certificate of analysis to be provided to demonstrate compliance with class 5.1 requirements.

The importer must advise the Explosives Inspectorate of any changes to the notified arrival times and discharge dates as soon as practicable and any other issues that impact upon the import. Refer to https://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/our-department/contact-us/explosives-inspectorate-contacts for contact details.

Non compliance

An Import with safety and security based non-compliances will be directed to the nearest Government Explosives Reserve for destuffing, inspection and storage until the problem is rectified. The first journey provisions of the Australian Explosives Code are extinguished.

Importers who have two or more consecutive shipments of the same products with the same safety and security based non-compliances may have the next shipment directed to the nearest Government Explosives Reserve for destuffing, inspection and storage.

This tightened inspection approach will ensure the root cause of the non-compliance is identified and rectified and ensure there is no recurrence of the non-compliance. The tightened inspections will continue until there have been two consecutive imports without the same non-compliances.

The use of photographic based journals to prove compliance at the time of consignment is encouraged.

Records

The importer must keep a record of each import explosive brought into Queensland from another country, and the exporter must keep a record of each export explosive sent from Queensland to another country, under the licence. The record must include each of the following:

  • the proper shipping name and authorised name of the explosive
  • the amount of the explosive
  • the date the explosive was brought into Queensland or sent to another country
  • the name of the consignee and consignor of the explosive.

Making explosives available for inspection

At the request of an Inspector, the importer or exporter must, make any explosive imported or exported under their licence available for inspection by an Inspector of Explosives. An authority holder should expect that an Inspector of Explosives will be inspecting imports of explosives and should expect that unsafe or non-compliant issues will be addressed immediately. If deficiencies are identified and remediation is necessary the receiving facility must be notified and given written instructions detailing the hazards and remediation process.

Receipt inspection

The importer must undertake a receipt inspection to confirm quality and accuracy of supply for quantity and product. Sampling and testing of import explosives should be carried out before the explosives are supplied to customers. Import explosives stored at a Government Explosives Reserve may also be checked by reserve staff before consignment.

External agency additional requirements of note

Imports and exports of explosives are handled at sea ports within the port's approved explosive limits and Australian Standard AS 3846 – the handling and transport of dangerous cargoes in port areas. Importers and exporters should consult with port authority for port requirements and take all reasonable steps to ensure that the loading or unloading of explosives is continuous unless there is a reasonable excuse. These issues should be included in the importers safety and security management system.

When an import of explosives requires fumigation or quarantine, the importer will notify the Explosives Inspectorate immediately and provide the intended fumigation facility and written advice about the process they are using to handle and store the explosives prior to consigning from point of import.



Authorised by Noel Erichsen - Chief Inspector of Explosives
Contact: , Manager, Explosives Licensing, +61 7 3199 8057 explosives@dnrm.qld.gov.au

Issued by the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines


General: This information is a guide only. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.; Placement: Place this announcement on noticeboards and ensure all relevant people in your organisation receive a copy.

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