The procedure for processing an application varies depending on the application type. For example, there are application types that are publicly notified (notitied applications), applications that are not publicly notified and undergo standard assessment (non-notified applications) and applications that undergo rapid assessment. See information about the statutory timelines for the different application pathways below.
Generally, the process is:
Contact from the applicant
The first contact with us is usually as an enquiry. We help determine if approval is required and which application should be used.
The pre-application period
The pre-application period begins when you confirm you will be submitting an application. Once completed, the draft application is sent to us for comment. The application is given an application number (APP200xxx) and assigned to an Advisor. While there is no obligation for you to proceed to the next stage, significant pre-application interactions may incur a charge (whether you proceed or not). This is on a case-by-case basis and we will inform you when such costs are likely.
Formal receipt of the application
An application is formally received once a completed signed hardcopy (and an electronic version) is submitted to us, the application fee has been paid. The application will be placed on our website.
Public notification (for notified applications only)
This must occur within 10 working days of the formal receipt (unless a waiver has been received). We place notices on our website informing the public that the application has been received. We also notify individuals by email or letter who asked to be kept informed of such applications (through the interested parties list). The public have 30 working days to lodge submissions about the application.
Evaluation and review of the application
The Advisors evaluate and review the application and submissions (where relevant) in the form of a report or a draft decision with covering Agency Advice. The risks and benefits of the substance or organism and its proposed use are assessed in the report.
Hearing (for notified applications only)
Where an application is publicly notified, a hearing may be held. A hearing is where those people who provided a written submission have the opportunity to present their submission in person if they wish. The Decision-making Committee uses the submissions to obtain further information that will assist with the final decision.
Consideration by the Decision-making Committee or the Decision-maker
The Decision-making Committee (or the Decision-maker) meets to consider the application and decide whether to approve, not approve, or decline the application, or whether more information is required before a decision can be made.
Notify the applicant
Once a decision is made, the applicant is told the decision and a copy of the decision document is placed on our website.
Statutory time requirements
The following diagrams outline the statutory time requirements for the notified, non-notified and rapid assessment applications:
View the statutory timeline for a notified application (pdf, 171 kb). View the statutory timeline for a non-notified application (pdf, 148 kb).View the statutory timeline for a rapid assessment application (pdf, 144 kb)
Please note that certain types of applications (eg. determining an organism as new or not) do not have statutory time requirements.
Waivers can be used by us to extend (or in rare cases decrease) statutory time requirements or to ask for further information after an application has been formally received. The waivers that can be used are:
A section 52 waiver can be used to request information from the applicant within the first 10 days after the formal receipt of an application.
A section 58 waiver can be used to request information from the applicant or other parties at any stage of the application process. This information may include the evaluation and review documents prepared by us. This waiver may also be used to postpone the hearing or Consideration of the application until the information has been received.
A section 59 waiver can be used to waive statutory time requirements e.g. when a decision cannot be notified within its statutory time requirement.