Formal warnings

The APVMA can issue a formal written warning if it has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has contravened the Agvet Code, the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Administration Act 1992 (the Administration Act) or the?Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products the Collection of Levy Act 1994 (Collection Act).

Formal warning overview

A formal warning means the APVMA has identified a suspected contravention of the Agvet Codes and issued a warning to the person (or entity) involved.

Warnings identify the:

  • nature of the offence
  • relevant legislative requirements.

The APVMA will issue a formal warning—when necessary—to provide an opportunity for voluntary corrective action, rather than initiating enforcement action. This is likely to happen when noncompliance has a relatively minor risk of causing harm, the benefit of the noncompliance to the contravening party is negligible, or the person breaching the Agvet legislation is a minor.

In deciding whether to issue a formal warning, the APVMA considers:

  • the person’s history of interaction with the agency
  • whether there is a history of noncompliance with APVMA-administered legislation
  • whether the matter is self-reported
  • whether the entity has taken any steps to remedy the suspected contravention.

Warnings also note that failure to address the breach—or continued non-compliance—will result in an escalated compliance and enforcement response.

We do not issue multiple formal warnings in relation to the same suspected contravention.

The issue of a formal warning is not a prerequisite for prosecution—or other enforcement action—by the APVMA

Legislative requirements

Section 69EO of the Administration Act states the APVMA may issue a formal warning to a person if the APVMA reasonably suspects that the person has contravened provisions of the Administration Act or Collection Act.

Section 145J of the Agvet Code allows the APVMA to issue a formal warning to a person if the APVMA reasonably suspects a person has contravened provisions of the Agvet Code.

Publication and disclosure

The APVMA considers publishing information about enforcement matters helps to deter future acts of non-compliance.


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