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Security Sensitive Biological Agents

  • Background

    Regulation of Security Sensitive Biological Agents (SSBA) has been implemented as a result of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) national review of hazardous materials. The COAG review consisted of four parts covering: ammonium nitrate; radiological material; hazardous chemicals and harmful biological agents. The first recommendation in the COAG endorsed review of harmful biological agents was to establish a two-tiered list of security sensitive biological agents (SSBA's) for regulation.

    In accordance with Part 3 of the National Health Security Act 2007, a regulatory scheme has been implemented by the Office of Health Protection, Department of Health and Ageing for the regulation of security sensitive biological agents. The aim is "to give effect to Australia's obligations to establish controls for the security of certain biological agents that could be used as weapons."

    The regulatory scheme is implemented to improve the security of biological agents of security concern in Australia. It builds on Australia's obligations under the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 1540.

  • Regulation of SSBAs

    Agents that are considered to be of security concern to Australia are regulated by inclusion on the List of Security Sensitive Biological Agents (the List of SSBAs). Regulation of the Tier 1 SSBAs included on the List commenced in January 2009 and regulation of the Tier 2 SSBAs commenced 31 January 2010.

Note: If you intend to handle any agent on the List of SSBAs you must contact the Office of Research Ethics, Compliance & Integrity in order to register the SSBAs.

Additional information about Security Sensitive Biological Agents is available from the Department of Health Open external site link in new window web site.

Office of Research Ethics, Compliance and Integrity

Research Services


T: +61 8 8313 5137
F: +61 8 8313 3700