Asbestos is still widely used during manufacturing in many countries, including China. Due to differences in international work health and safety legislation and standards, some countries may classify goods and materials manufactured for export markets as ‘asbestos free’ because they contain only a certain type of asbestos or low levels of asbestos content.
The importation and use of any goods or materials with the presence of any asbestos type at any concentration is prohibited in Australia by federal laws. Despite this, asbestos contaminated imported goods still being discovered at the Australian border and according to media reports six discoveries of asbestos in new imported products have been made in new Australian building projects this year.
Importers (and businesses using imported products) should be fully aware of the varying definitions and standards applied in the country of origin and/or supply. In most circumstances, best practice is to arrange a competent person to sample the imported products during manufacture for testing by an Australian laboratory NATA accredited for the relevant test method (AS 4964 method for the qualitative identification of asbestos in bulk samples).
OCTIEF operates NATA accredited laboratories in Brisbane, Darwin and Canberra and have been undertaking due diligence testing of new imported goods and materials for a number of key clients. Our laboratories possess an import exemption (permit number MB15-000063) which allow us to import samples of goods/materials for the purposes of NATA accredited laboratory asbestos analysis.
Should you require additional information or are concerned about asbestos in imported products within your home or business, please contact Brendan Warrell, Operations Manager or one of OCTIEF’s licenced asbestos assessors directly on 1800 628 433.