If your logistics partners (or even your own employes) are developing a culture that holds little respect for biosecurity requirements, then you are playing with a really big fire. It is not just a matter of being environmentally conscious (although that’s a part of it). It is the fact that treating such concerns lightly already carries a baggage of costly penalties.
You and your partners need to accept that the Department of Agriculture is gravely serious about these policies. The penalties they will impose upon your business are just one portion of the bigger price you have to pay.
Here is that price broken into three segments.
- Big fines and fees.
Recently, the department had just convicted the owner of a transport company for failing to comply with the department’s directions after the goods they transported were deemed as biosecurity risks.
This resulted in a fine that was no less than $20,000 just for the owner alone and then another $100,000 for the company. It is also likely that these can be raised higher, depending on the size of your company and the gravity of your non-compliance.
In short, it is not so much about the figures themselves but the department’s full intention to make sure your finances are feeling more than a pinch when it comes to violations. It is not worth the trouble of frequently consulting with your managers about how to mitigate something that is better off avoided.
- It leaves a criminal record.
It should also be noted that the recently convicted company owner was also given a 12-month suspended jail sentence. If your company was in the same situation, then that would mean you will be under a watchful eye and all who do business with your company will soon know that you had essentially committed a criminal offense.
Therefore, if even the fines and fees aren’t punishing enough, the mark on your company record will be forever etched in legal documentation.
There is really no erasing such records. As an enterprise, you can only strive to do better and avoid future infractions. That is why compliance with biosecurity is paramount because it has an indisputable effect on your company’s integrity, reliability and brand image.
- Impact on public health and environment.
And lastly, one must not forget that the primary reason why biosecurity is in place is that the threat of transported pests and disease is still quite real (even in the 21st century). The department implements these measures for the sake of preserving both the environment and public health. It is not one or the other.
There is no industry or good that is exempt from the possibility of bringing dangerous contaminants. Whether it is the mad cow disease or bird flu, it is the responsibility of all importers to keep themselves from becoming an unfortunate vector in a global epidemic.
Given what is often at stake in biosecurity, the cost of complying is far better than doing otherwise. Start creating awareness of its importance among your logistics partners and employees so that they can better understand why it must be done.