16 November 2017
To advise industry that the department has informed all trading partners of the changes to the appearance of official marks used to certify agricultural commodities; and to instruct exporters to inform their importers of the upcoming changes.
In 2015, the Australian Government amended the Export Control (Prescribed Goods – General) Order 2005, in regards to the design of official marks. The legislative amendment will result in a change to the appearance of official marks on 20 November 2016.
Official marks are considered to be: stamps and seals applied to government certificates and bolt and tamper-indicative seals.
This notice applies to all clients receiving export certification services from the department.
Summary of changes and key points
Trading partners have been notified
The department has notified trading partners of the upcoming changes to facilitate a smooth transition and prevent any trade disruptions, noting that there are no changes to the roles, functions or integrity of Australia’s export certification system.
The department has advised trading partners there will be a transition period whereby port officials in overseas countries will see existing and new stamps and seals, until all consignments using the existing stamps and seals have cleared import inspection.
The department is closely monitoring the transition and has provided contact details to trading partners to address any enquiries.
The department requests Australian exporters inform their importers of the upcoming changes to stamps and seals, as an additional measure to ensure trade continues smoothly.
Exporters should make their importers aware of the following information:
1. Export certificates:
- All paper-based government certificates, including halal certificates, issued from 20 November 2016 will bear the new ‘Australian Government Agriculture’ official mark.
- Consignments with paper-based certificates issued before 20 November 2016 will bear the ‘Department of Agriculture Fisheries & Forestry’ official mark.
- Appendix A of this notice shows the appearance of the existing and new design of official marks.
- As imports arrive by sea and by air freight, border officials will see two types of official stamps on these paper certificates, that is, the existing stamp and the new stamp, from 20 November 2016 until all consignments in transit have cleared import inspection.
- All other features of the paper-based certificates will remain the same.
- There will be no visible change to any electronic certificates exchanged via eCert.
2. Security seals on containers:
- All official security seals applied to export containers from 20 November 2016 will have a new appearance, and bear the words ‘Australian Government’.
- Appendix B of this notice shows the appearance of the new security seals.
- Consignments in transit sealed before 20 November 2016 will use the existing seals.
- As imports arrive by sea and by air freight, there will be a period of time where goods will arrive bearing the existing and new seals until all consignments in transit have cleared import inspection.
For any exporter queries related to the notification of trading partners or importers, please contact the department via email Official Marks Export Meat.
Dr Chris Parker
Plant Export Operations