The role of the APVMA

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has a clearly defined role as the regulator of agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemicals in Australia. We are the independent statutory authority responsible for assessing and registering pesticides and veterinary medicines proposed for supply in Australia.

Our vision is to be a world leader in agvet chemical regulation that uses the best science and attracts strong investment to register safe products that advance Australia's agricultural productivity and animal health.

The APVMA's regulatory activities

As the national regulator of agvet chemicals the APVMA regulates agricultural and veterinary chemicals in line with responsibilities described in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992?and the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act?1994.

We ensure Australians have access to safe and effective agvet chemicals to control pests and diseases on animals and plants.

We also monitor and enforce compliance with the Agvet Code and other legislation we administer.

The APVMA keeps a Record and Register of approved agvet constituents, registered products and approved labels.

A trusted regulator

We strive to be recognised nationally and internationally as a best-practice regulator of pesticides and veterinary medicines that has the respect and confidence of governments, the community, the rural sector, chemical users and the chemicals industry.

We are committed to continuous improvement, scientific excellence, innovation and being a world class regulator of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

To assist us to achieve our goals and maintain our contemporary scientific knowledge base, we:

  • engage with international agencies
  • adopt international guidelines when they are suitable for an Australian context
  • are party to agreements with comparable overseas regulatory agencies.

The APVMA is frequently the lead agency on international working groups dealing with a range of regulatory issues involving pesticides and veterinary medicines. Our staff are regularly invited to speak at international conferences.

Regulatory science

While the reconsideration process is one that is supported by a legislative and administrative framework, the decision to review an agricultural or veterinary chemical is based on the scientific weight of evidence that a review is necessary.

The ensuing process of assessing human health or environmental risks (or both) is underpinned by regulatory science and well-established risk assessment methodologies used internationally by counterpart regulatory authorities and international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Fundamentally, regulatory science is the application of the scientific method to regulatory decision making, driven by the use of all of the available relevant data and expert judgement to make consistent risk management decisions.

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