Quarantine - organisms and potential carriers

Page last updated: Monday, 6 November 2023 - 3:20pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Under biosecurity legislation, any item that poses a biosecurity risk should be referred to quarantine inspectors for assessment. The item(s) are often referred to as 'quarantine risk items' or 'quarantine risk materials'. The legislation uses the terms 'organisms' and 'prescribed potential carriers'.

If you intend to import anything that fits the descriptions below, you must check that the items are permitted into Western Australia (WA) and further check for any restrictions and requirements that may be applicable.

For quarantine purposes, an organism can be described as any living thing (other than humans), disease or agent that can cause disease.

A potential carrier could be defined as anything that is capable of carrying an organism or anything that is capable of carrying other items that may be carrying an organism.

Under the BAM Act the import of these items may require a permit.

Below is a list describing the prescribed potential carriers that Quarantine WA requires to be declared and usually inspects. The complete list of prescribed potential carriers can be found in the Biosecurity and Agricultural Management Act 2007.

  • new or used machinery that is used in association with agriculture, animals, mining or earth moving
  • any animal or animal products
  • bees, honey and other hive products
  • animal feed of plant origin other than processed or manufactured feed for dogs, cat and fish (including hay, straw, fodder, seed and other grain used for animal feed)
  • a plant or plant product, including flowers, cuttings, bulbs, fruit and vegetables (excludes canned or cooked plant products)
  • seed
  • absorbent pet litter derived from plant material
  • soil
  • plant growing media and landscaping material such as potting mix, wood chips and mulch
  • cargo containers
  • any container used for, or in connection with, agricultural products
  • containers used to transport animals (other than dogs and cats)
  • a container of live fish including all contents and the fish
  • non-potable water
  • a vessel
  • vessel ballast water
  • a vehicle.

Contact information

Quarantine WA Imports