Testing incentive-based drivers for importer compliance

Project ID: 1608C (1504C)
CEBRA Project Leader: Susan Hester
DAWR Sponsor: Lois Ransom
DAWR Project Leader: Felicity Woodhams
DAWR Division: Plant Division
MPI Project Manager: N/A
Collaborators: The Centre for Market Design (CMD)

To maintain Australia’s biosecurity status, the Department uses various measures to reduce the risks of entry, establishment and spread of exotic pests and diseases to Australia that may threaten human, animal and plant health. However, government intervention activities increase costs on import-supply chain participants, some of which are passed on to the Australian public through higher costs associated with imported products and, in some cases, limited access to certain goods.

With this in mind, and in accordance with a risk-based approach to biosecurity regulation, the Department seeks to reduce the regulatory burden on individuals, businesses and community organisations. Recently, inspection rules that reward importers with a good compliance history were implemented. These rules have inherent incentive properties that can be harnessed to further reduce the risk of biosecurity risk material entering Australia.

This project is testing the development of inspection rules that:

  • encourage voluntary action by participants to implement biosecurity risk management processes that reduce the likelihood of presence of biosecurity risk material in consignments
  • reduce the Department’s intervention level
  • reduce the regulatory burden for stakeholders with a strong track-record of compliance; and
  • improve the Department’s allocation of resources

This project will implement a field trial designed to test aspects of importer behaviour in response to these changed inspection protocols on two plant-product pathways: ‘Peat and Peat Products’ and ‘Vegetable Seeds for Sowing’. The expected benefits of this project extension are improved knowledge about implementing compliance-based inspection regimes and the cost savings for import supply-chain participants, including the Australian Government, that result from more effectively targeting inspection efforts.

Research Program

Data and Information

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