SSBA Newsletter Issue 26 - June 2016

Security Sensitive Biological Agents Regulatory Scheme Newsletter.

Page last updated: 21 June 2016

PDF printable version of SSBA Newsletter Issue 26 - June 2016 (PDF 482 KB)

Removal of S. Typhi and V. cholerae from the List of SSBAs

The List of Security Sensitive Biological Agents (List of SSBAs) sets out the biological agents and toxins that the Minister for Health considers to be of security concern to Australia. The Department of Health has recently completed a Review of Biological Agents of Security Concern with a view to determining if changes are required to the List of SSBAs.

The review assessed the current security risk and health impacts of biological agents that have the potential to be used in a terrorist or criminal act within Australia and consulted extensively with the Australian Intelligence Community and scientific and technical experts.

The primary outcome of the review was that Salmonella Typhi and Vibrio cholerae are no longer of a security risk level that requires regulation under the SSBA Regulatory Scheme and the review recommended that the agents be removed from the List of SSBAs.

A second outcome from the review was that further work would be required to increase clarity as to when an influenza A strain is subject to security regulation. The review feedback highlighted the complexity in defining when an influenza strain poses a security risk and Health proposes to undertake further consultations with relevant experts to refine the criteria used when determining if a strain is regulated. It is anticipated that this work will be completed by mid- to late-2016 and until the work is finalised the listing and notes for influenza A virus remains unchanged.

On 9 March 2016 the Minister for Health approved the removal of S. Typhi and V. cholerae from the List of SSBAs. This change was effective from 14 March 2016 and from this date S. Typhi and V. cholerae are no longer considered SSBAs and are not subject to the requirements of the National Health Security Act 2007.

The final Report on the Review of Biological Agents of Security Concern is available on the SSBA website.

What does this mean for the regulated community?

From 14 March 2016, facilities have not been required to report the handling of S. Typhi and V. cholerae, or samples suspected to be these agents, and no longer have to handle and store S. Typhi and V. cholerae under the requirements of the SSBA Standards.

For Registered Facilities, the SSBA Regulatory Scheme automatically removed S. Typhi and V. cholerae from the facility’s registration (if applicable). In some cases de-registration from the SSBA Regulatory Scheme was also considered.

A Frequently Asked Questions information sheet outlining the options available to registered facilities and a specific De-Registration form have been developed to assist with this process. Both of these documents are available on the SSBA Website or by emailingSSBA Inbox.

If you are a member of our regulated community and would like to discuss how the changes to the List of SSBAs affects your facility, please email us at SSBA Inbox.

Reporting Requirements

While S. Typhi and V. Cholerae have been removed from the List of SSBAs, remember that reporting requirements remain for all other agents on the List, including if you form a reasonable suspicion based on your usual laboratory testing that you are handling an SSBA.

SSBA Guidelines and Fact Sheets

SSBA Guidelines and Fact Sheets are available to provide information to stakeholders on topics of particular interest related to the SSBA Regulatory Scheme. Stakeholders are welcome to suggest areas of interest that may warrant the development of further Guidelines and Fact Sheets. Suggestions may be sent to SSBA Inbox.

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The Fact Sheets and Guidelines may be found at:

Reminder:

For an agent on the List of SSBAs to be considered an SSBA it must live, viable and pathogenic.

Defence Export Controls—New ICT guide available

Australia’s export control system is part of an international effort to stem the proliferation of conventional, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and the systems that deliver them. Many goods designed for legitimate civil purposes can also contribute to the development of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) or be used for a military end-use.

Australia is a signatory to many international treaties and conventions, and a member of several export control regimes, all of which serve our national interests and contribute to the global effort aimed at reducing the risk of proliferation.

Australia’s control list, the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL), is drawn directly from the control lists agreed to by the export control regimes. The DSGL has two parts; Part 1 is the listing of controlled military items, and Part 2 is the controlled dual-use items.

A permit is required when exporting, supplying, brokering or publishing ‘DSGL-listed items’, unless there is an exemption.

Defence Export Controls has published a new 'Australian Export Controls and ICT' Guide on its website, (under the "Notices" tab). The website is listed at the end of this article.

The Guide has been developed to assist ICT industry, software developers, academics and researchers to improve their understanding of how Australia’s export control laws apply to the export, supply, publication or brokering of proliferation-sensitive information and communication software and technology.

You can conduct your own assessment of whether your goods, software or technology are listed on the DSGL, and whether your activity is controlled by the Defence Trade Controls Act via the on-line assessment tool available at https://dsgl.defence.gov.au or you can apply for an assessment by DECO via the “Application for DSGL/Activity Assessment” available through the DECO website.

Defence Export Controls Office website: www.defence.gov.au/deco

SSBA Mailing List

Please remember to notify the SSBA Regulatory Scheme if your contact details change.

The SSBA Regulatory Scheme uses a mailing list to send out the SSBA newsletter and other information about the scheme.

If you need to update your contact details, or would like to be added to the SSBA mailing list, please email your details toSSBA Inbox.

Check out our website: SSBA.

For enquiries, please email: SSBA Inbox.

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