Automatic Entry Processing (AEP) Reform

Improvements to Automatic Entry Processing (AEP) functionality in the Agriculture Import Management System (AIMS) were released on 23 June 2018. The release marked the implementation of phase 2 of the AEP reform project. The primary objective is to increase industry participation in the Broker Class Approved Arrangements (AAs), sharing the biosecurity responsibility in the assessment of imported goods.  The system changes are aimed at reducing complexity, providing greater flexibility, monitoring compliance more effectively and increasing the capacity to expand the number of commodities available for the AEP for commodities AA.

Change Enhancements

Since the implementation of phase 2 AEP reform project on June 23, the project team has been working on an enhancement that will improve how non-commodity for containerised cargo (NCCC) concerns are handled within AEP NCCC.

The enhancement specifically relates to the non-commodity line.  The department will be introducing a non-commodity line per full import declaration (FID).  This includes a non-commodity line being placed on air freight and break bulk consignments. 

The non-commodity line on FCL/FCX FID’s will include a non-commodity line per container and the lines will be associated with individual container numbers. 

This enhancement will make it easier for the department to partially release consignments for those containers which have no biosecurity concerns at inspection and direct containers with biosecurity concerns for further intervention.  For split delivery locations, you will need to include the concern type BNCC along with the RURL concern and lodge documents through COLS so the Department can release containers that are being delivered to a metro location.

The anticipated release for this enhancement is 14 September 2018.

Technical concerns

We would like to provide some advice around two common concerns we have identified that result in Re-lodge directions

With the AEP reform implementation, for the system to operate correctly all lines in a sea cargo import declaration need to be associated with a container (where applicable).  Direction Re-lodge - Fix Line container association will appear when this does not happen.

When directing non-commodity for onshore intervention such as Tailgate, Cargo Inspection or Fumigation, to nominate a location you are required to enter the AA number (i.e. V1234) only into the AQIS Inspection Field.  This occurs at the header level in ICS.  If you put in more information than the AA number or do not include any information after you declare a non-commodity concern type you will receive a Re-lodge – Fix preferred location direction.

To direct AEP for commodity (AEPCOMM) consignments, the location is placed in the AQIS Premise ID on the line level.

The upcoming enhancements will also rectify minor systems related issues identified post release which are preventing successful lodgments, such as:

  • Amended entries where the non-commodity concern is removed
  • AEP entries with mixed cargo types FCL/FCX (all other combinations remain out of scope for NCCC and AEPCOMM)

Compliance concerns

We are currently seeing two common compliance issues. 

  • The first is not using the revised packing declaration. 
  • The second is the need for a storage declaration due to the September 2017 update to the manufactured wooden articles pathway of the Timber and timber products in BICON case.

On 20 November 2017, a notice was issued providing details of the revised consignment specific and annual packing declarations.  The revised packing declaration became mandatory for consignments of containerised goods subject to non-commodity recording requirements shipped on or after 1 July 2018.  Non-compliance will be issued where the department finds the old packing declaration used in line with the Compliance guide and Approved Arrangement General Policies.  The current version of the packing declaration may be found on the Department’s website.

The department relies on the documents initially presented in the Cargo Online Lodgment System (COLS) for document assessment, so you are reminded to have all the documentation required to assess the consignment present and correct at the time of lodgment.  How we monitor compliance is published in the approved arrangement’s general policies.

A compliance guide is available to provide accredited persons and BIPs with details of how to remain compliant with individual broker AA requirements.  The compliance guide provides the classifications for non-compliance incidents providing transparency and consistency in implementing non-compliant outcomes.

Future expansion of Broker AA Class 19.2: Automatic Entry Processing for Commodities (AEPCOMM)

The enhancement on 23 June has simplified the lodgment process for industry and combined with the improved compliance model is enabling the department to add new commodities to the AEPCOMM arrangement more easily.  We are now working on identifying commodities suitable for inclusion on the arrangement.

It is anticipated that new commodities will become available on the arrangement within the next six months.  Advice on the new commodities for inclusion on the arrangement will be provided once confirmed. 

If you have any suggestions for commodities to be added to AEP please contact AEP Support.

Industry support

The AEP team can assist you in using the new arrangement. Send queries via email to AEP Support.

We encourage you to make the most of the AEP reform to improve the efficiency of your business.  We also want to help you comply with your requirements to ensure biosecurity risk is managed effectively. 

To assist with the implementation of phase 2, we have developed a series of task cards to help BIPs and accredited persons with their new import declaration lodgment requirements for NCCC and AEPCOMM. Download the task cards to assist you in using the new arrangement.




File size

Task card: Lodging NCCC con​signments PDF2

226 KB

Task card: Lodging NCCC consignments DOCX 265 KB
Task card: Lodging AEPCOMM consignments PDF 2212 KB
Task card: Lodging AEPCOMM consignments DOCX 265 KB
Task card: Lodging non-standard consignments PDF 2

226 KB

Task card: Lodging non-standard consignments DOCX 263 KB
Task card: Identifying and resolving an AEP error PDF 2

186 KB

Task card: Identifying and resolving an AEP error DOCX 263 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, please visit web accessibility.

If you would like more information or have any questions about the changes to the broker approved arrangements please email the AEP support team.