Improving agricultural export legislation

​​​​​​​​Consultation on the exposure draft of Export Control Bill 2017 (the Bill) has now closed.

Submissions are published on the consultation page.

Work on the legislative instruments to support the new Act (the Rules) will commence in 2018. Further consultation will be undertaken on the Rules as they are developed.

The improved legislative framework for Australian agricultural exports is expected to commence in shortly before 1 April 2020.

As part of a wider initiative to strengthen agricultural exports and market access, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is improving the current agricultural export legislative framework. In 2015, a review of existing legislation found there was scope to make improvements to enable us to better support exporters, farmers and other primary producers in a changing trade environment.

New legislative framework

Improvements to the export legislative framework will make it easier to understand, administer and use, and to safeguard Australia’s reputation as a reliable, high-quality source of exports for our trading partners.

This will involve consolidating existing export-related provisions into a new agricultural export legislative framework made up of an Export Control Bill (the Bill) and Export Control Rules (the Rules). This will replace the existing Export Control Act 1982​ and legislative instruments (such as Orders and Regulations)

  • The Export Control Bill — will set out the overarching principles for the operation of the export control system. It will incorporate the parts of existing export legislation and the export control orders that are common across commodities.
  • The Export Control Rules — will be based on the current Export Control Orders and will outline operational requirements that agricultural exporters must meet—such as where and how products are to be prepared, and when permits and certificates are necessary to export from Australia. The Rules will include the specific requirements exporters must meet for each commodity. The Rules are legislative instruments that will be made under the improved Export Control Act and will still be subject to parliamentary checks and balances, in line with the current Orders. Work on the Rules will be undertaken in 2018 and 2019.

This modern export legislative framework will mean farmers and exporters are supported by contemporary, responsive and efficient legislation.

The improvements incorporated into the new framework will maintain existing regulatory oversight and achieve current regulatory outcomes while removing duplication and making export provisions consistent across commodities, where possible.

There will be no change to Australia’s commitment to meet the importing country requirements of our trading partners.

The new legislative framework (the Act and the Rules) will commence shortly before 1 April 2020. Between 2018 and 2020, the taskforce will be working across the department on implementation arrangements.

Next steps

Consultation on the Export Control Bill has concluded. Work on the Export Control Rules will commence in 2018. Further consultation will be undertaken on the Rules as they are developed. Register your interest below to keep informed of major project milestones and consultation opportunities.

Read our supporting documents explaining the im​provements to the legislation

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