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Exporting fish and fish products from Australia

​​​​​​​​The export of fish and fish products from Australia is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, under the Export Control Act 1982 and associated legislation.

Regulation by us ensures continued market access and satisfies our trading partners that prescribed goods manufactured and exported from Australia are safe and comply with export legislation and specific importing country requirements.​

If you are involved in the export supply chain, you will need to be aware of:

  • your obligations under export legislation
  • specific importing country requirements that you need to meet
  • any additional export requirements set by us.

We can help you to understand the requirements for exporting your goods to overseas markets.

Read our step-by-step guide to exporting fish and fish products from Australia.

Export legislation

Under export legislation fish and fish products, as with other foods, are classified as either a prescribed or non-prescribed good.

Prescribed fish goods include aquatic vertebrates and aquatic invertebrates (but excludes mammals and birds) intended for human consumption and where the major ingredient is fish. Fish includes aquaculture and wild caught.

Examples of prescribed fish products include:

  • abalone
  • crocodile
  • crustaceans (e.g. prawns, rock lobster, yabbies, crabs)
  • finfish (e.g. eel, tuna)
  • shellfish (e.g. oysters, scallops, mussels, pipis, clams, cockles)
  • products where fish is not the major component but if removed from the product as an ingredient, the product would no longer have the stated or implied characteristics. (e.g. sand-crab lasagne, smoked salmon dip, fish sauce).

If you are planning to export prescribed goods from Australia, you will need to register with us as an exporter and only use establishments that are registered for the products being exported.

Non-prescribed fish goods may include any product containing fish:

  • shells
  • seaweeds
  • products where fish is an ingredient but not the major part (weight or volume) of the product e.g. bakery products containing fish oils, fish oil capsules; fish and fish products for animal food
  • products where fish is an ingredient but is not described or represented as being a fish product.

If you are exporting non-prescribed goods you do not need to register with us, but will still need to meet any specific importing country requirements. We advise that you confirm with your importer any particular documentation or certification requirements for entry into the destination country.

Find out more about exporting non-prescribed goods from Australia.

Exporters of prescribed fish and fish products

Before you begin exporting prescribed fish and fish products from Australia, you will need to:

Find out more about requirements of being a registered fish exporter.

Export registered establishments

All prescribed fish and fish products intended for export must be prepared and stored in an establishment registered with us, this includes:

  • Australian fish ingredient suppliers
  • freight forwarders
  • manufacturers
  • processors
  • producers
  • storage facilities
  • vessels where product is packed on board for export
  • any establishment where the prescribed goods will be stored and or loaded for export (excluding the wharf and airport terminal).

If you are an exporter, you can either use a facility that is already registered with us, or organise for your establishment to become export registered.

Register as an export establishment by:

Audits will also be conducted each year to make sure you are maintaining all processes documented in your approved arrangement.

Find out more about operating an export registered establishment.

Notices and advices

Industry advice notices and market access advices are released to notify fish export industry of any changes including:

  • legislation
  • market access conditions
  • operational requirements.

See current industry notices and advices

Resources for fish exporters

Other government agencies and industry bodies are also involved in the regulation of fish and fish products for export and can help you become export ready.

If you need help, there are range of industry resources available for exporters and manufacturers of exported fish and fish products.