Freighting Of Equestrian Horses And Equipment To Australia For The 2000 Olympic Games

The following information gives an outline of the important quarantine aspects of the importation of horses and associated goods for use in the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Conditions for freight and the importation of horses

The route and stopovers for horses being airfreighted to Australia must meet Australian quarantine requirements. The Sydney Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (SOCOG) will be providing horse transport flights to and from Sydney from several points around the world in the year 2000 and details will be made available shortly.

Horses may enter and depart at other times but the National Olympic Committees will be individually responsible for their own transport and quarantine arrangements and any associated costs.

Each horse must be accompanied with the following documentation:

  • a copy of a valid Permit to Import
  • an Animal Health Certificate, issued by an official veterinarian of the Government of the country from which the horse was exported
  • a current international passport, recognised by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) and/or the Office International des Epizooties (OIE).

SOCOG's freight agent for those horses coming into Australia in the official competition arrival window will apply for import permits. Those horses not coming in within the official arrival window must apply for their import permits separately.

Importation of saddlery and other horse equipment

The following conditions apply to all saddlery and other tack imported with National Olympic Team horses which undergo post-arrival quarantine at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre (SIEC), Horsley Park, immediately prior to the games.

  • A separate import permit is not required for saddlery imported with horses for Olympic competition.
  • All saddlery will be transported directly to SIEC for quarantine clearance.
  • Unless prior AQIS approval is granted, all imported saddlery must remain within the SIEC until it is re-exported at the conclusion of the Olympic equestrian competition.
  • Where possible exclude saddles with wooden components. Saddles with wooden components must be declared and will be subjected to individual inspection. Detailed information about the age, type and source of the wood used should accompany the saddle together with, where relevant, a manufacturer's declaration that the tree of the saddle is made of plywood heat moulded/bonded at a specified time and temperature. Plywood veneers should be no greater than 1.5 mm thick and heat-treated for at least 15 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Each consignment of saddlery must be packed in metal, plastic or fibreglass trunks free from wooden components.
  • Each consignment must be accompanied by a Sanitary Certificate signed by the team chef d'equipe containing the following:
  1. an inventory of all goods in the consignment
  2. a declaration that all the equipment in the consignment has been inspected and found clean and free of any contamination from animal and plant matter, soil, insects or other debris
  3. a declaration that the packaging of the consignment has been performed by, or under the direct supervision of the chef d'equipe and that no organic packing material has been used.
  • Sanitary Certificates will be audited at SIEC and AQIS officers will conduct random inspections of equipment.

Importation of stockfeed

  • AQIS permits the importation of stockfeed only under prescribed conditions. A Permit to Import is required for all stockfeed containing ingredients of animal, plant and/or microbial origin.
  • It is unlikely that Australia will allow the import of hay from any country other than New Zealand. Competing countries should consider importing Australian hay for their horses prior to the Games. Hay of the same quality will be made available for the competing horses when in Australia.

Importation of veterinary supplies

  • Veterinary drugs, therapeutic substances and dietary supplements are all of quarantine concern and their entry to Australia is restricted.
  • All veterinary supplies made using biological material (plant or animal) need a Permit to Import. However, products made from highly purified and processed plant extracts and oils do not need an import permit.
  • Synthetically derived products do not need an import permit but these products must be accompanied by documentation verifying their synthetic origin.
  • A broad range of veterinary drugs and therapeutic substances is available in Australia. If at all possible these types of products should be sourced here.

Quarantine arrangements in Sydney

  • Once the horses arrive in Sydney, they will undergo 14 days of post-arrival quarantine at a self-contained, purpose-built competition facility at the SIEC. AQIS will have a full-time presence at the SIEC during the quarantine phase.
  • Tick surveys were conducted at the Olympic equestrian sites in August/September 1998. Throughout the quarantine period and the Games, all horses will be regularly examined by quarantine inspectors and grooms.
  • The government quarantine station at Eastern Creek may be used if an outbreak of a serious equine disease occurs at SIEC.
  • AQIS will also be responsible for certifying the horses for re-export to their home countries at the end of the competition.
  • Permit applications for importing biologicals, veterinary supplies and stockfeed
  • All application forms for Permits to Import must be mailed to the Biologicals Unit of AQIS by 1 March 2000.
Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More