Legal use of methyl bromide - fact sheet
Methyl bromide is an ozone depleting gas and a controlled substance. In Australia it can only be used as a fumigant for quarantine and pre-shipment purposes, unless the Australian Government has given permission for another use. Heavy penalties apply for any unauthorised use of methyl bromide.
Methyl bromide is used to treat imported and exported goods. Its use ensures the product or commodity is free from pests.
You can only use it as a QPS fumigant if it is:
- authorised by a Commonwealth, state or territory, or
- required by another country’s government prior to export from Australia to that country.
Australian government authorities that authorise its use include:
- Australian Border Force
- Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
- state and territory authorities (for goods shipped between states, territories or regions).
When you can use methyl bromide
You can use methyl bromide to treat goods:
- imported into Australia and infested with a quarantine pest (for example, wooden products, household items, returned equipment, or flowers)
- imported which may contain a quarantine pest but does not have an acceptable treatment certificate
- exported from Australia that must meet the phytosanitary requirements of the receiving country
- shipped interstate if the receiving state or territory government has mandated its use.
The Department has also prepared some guidance on fumigations using methyl bromide to assist fumigators to understand the minimum requirements for using methyl bromide, and to provide information on methods and techniques that can be used by fumigators to meet these minimum requirements..
When you cannot use methyl bromide
You cannot use methyl bromide:
- without direction from a quarantine authority or foreign government
- for a soil or structural fumigation without our approval
- solely to meet contractual or commercial requirements.
You do not need a permit from us to use methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipping fumigation, but you must be authorised by a quarantine authority.
Record keeping requirements
If you use methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment uses, you must keep records of these uses. Keep these records for 5 years from the date of use. We may request a copy.