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The APVMA operates under an intergovernmental agreement between the Australian Government and all states and territories. Under this agreement, the APVMA is responsible for regulating agvet chemicals up to and including the point of sale. The states and territories are responsible for regulating agvet chemicals after they are sold, a process which is known as ‘control of use’.
The key functions of the APVMA, which are set out in s. 7 of the Administration Act, are to:
- assess the suitability for sale in Australia of active constituents for proposed or existing chemical products, registered chemical products and labels for containers for chemical products
- ensure that approvals and registrations for active constituents for chemical products, chemical products and labels for containers for chemical products comply with the Agvet Code and the Agvet Code Regulations
- provide information to the Australian Government and its agencies, and the states and territories, about approved active constituents for proposed or existing chemical products, registered chemical products and approved labels for such products, and cooperate with the Australian Government and its agencies on matters relating to the management and control of chemical products
- collect and publish relevant information and statistics on approvals and registrations granted, and permits and licences issued under the Agvet Code
- with the Australian Government and its agencies, and the states and participating territories, facilitate a consistent approach to the assessment and control of agvet chemicals
- exchange information relating to chemical products and their use with overseas and international bodies that have similar functions to those of the APVMA
- report to or advise the minister on matters relating to the performance of the APVMA’s functions.
Under s. 10 of the Administration Act, the Australian Government minister responsible for administering agricultural and veterinary medicine legislation may direct the APVMA (in writing) concerning its functions or powers under Australian, state or territory laws. The APVMA must comply with any such direction. No such direction was given in 2018–19.