The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry issues certification for the European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK) high quality beef (HQB) and the EU Grain-fed Beef tariff rate quotas (TRQ).
Australian exporters can export specific quantities of eligible product to the EU and UK at reduced or zero tariff rates through these quotas.
- Access volumes for these quotas are administered on an annual basis - in line with the Australian financial year: 1 July to 30 June.
- To access this quota you must be a person who holds an export licence for export of high quality beef to the European Union and/or United Kingdom.
HQB (EU and UK)
As a result of the UK leaving the EU (aka Brexit), the previously available access volume of 7,150 tonnes has been split between the EU and the UK. The current split of access volumes is:
- 3,389 tonnes available for consignments to the EU
- 3,761 tonnes available for consignments to the UK.
Shipments covered by a TRQ certificate (known as a Certificate of Authenticity, COA) can enter the applicable destination at an ad valorem tariff rate of 20% (ad valorem is levying of customs duties in proportion to the estimated value of the goods). Demand for access to this quota traditionally exceeds the amount available and therefore the department administers the quota through an annual allocation process.
First come first served quota available (as at 29 March 2023)
EU quota – 405 tonnes
UK quota - 3,095 tonnes
Key dates to remember
- 1 July—New quota year begins.
- 15 February—Last day for exporters to advise whether they will return or retain quota entitlements, and/or whether they wish to apply for additional entitlement.
- 16 May—Deadline for exporters to apply for quota entitlements for the next quota year.
- Late May—Exporters notified of their quota entitlements for the next quota year and the department begins accepting applications for quota certificates for the next quota year.
- 30 June—Quota year ends.
Grain-fed beef (EU only)
A grain-fed beef quota for shipments to the EU can be accessed by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Uruguay and Argentina. Consignments within the available quota volume are eligible for a zero tariff. The grain-fed quota is not allocated, but available on a first-come, first-served (FCFS) basis on arrival in the EU. Exporting country issued TRQ certificates are required, but as access to this quota is managed by the EU, access to it cannot be guaranteed even with a TRQ certificate. The grainfed quota is administered by the EU on a quarterly basis (Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec, Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun). In 2022, there is 4,900 tonnes of quota available each quarter.
Details on the amount of EU and UK HQB quota shipped and the balance remaining can be found at the below link under the heading “EU, UK and US red meat quota position”. The report is updated regularly.
The department does not provide data on grain-fed beef as it is an EU-managed global quota.
An exporter may apply for an allocation of EU and/or UK HQB quota prior to the start of the quota year. (note, exporters that have not used HQB quota before should refer to the New Entrant section, below)
Application forms will be made available to exporters and must be submitted prior to the close of business on 16 May for allocations for the next quota year.
The amount of HQB quota to be allocated as an entitlement to applicants is calculated based on a three-year shipping history, with penalties for underuse of quota entitlements. Once entitlements have been determined, each applicant is then notified of their HQB quota entitlement for the next quota year.
All TRQs must provide a pathway for new entrants to enter and establish themselves in that market. As HQB is allocated based on an exporters previous shipping history using quota, this impedes the ability for new entrants to access this market. A separate pathway is therefore included to provide new entrants access to the benefits of tariff rate quota.
For each of the EU and the UK, 250 tonnes of quota is reserved as a new entrant amount. These new entrant amounts can be accessed by any exporter that has not received an allocation of HQB in the previous three years, and meets other eligibility requirements. Individual new entrants are capped at accessing up to 80 tonnes to each of the EU and the UK in a quota year. Exporters are considered new entrants for a period of 3 years to enable them to develop the shipping history necessary to then receive a standard allocation. The new entrant amount is accessible on a first-come, first-served basis from the start of the quota year until the reclamation day (15 February). New entrants can receive an entitlement of quota from the reclamation day, to access for the remainder of the quota year (invitations to apply will be sent ahead of the reclamation day). Please refer to Subdivision B of Part 3, Chapter 2 of the Rules for full details).
How to access new entrant quota
Exporters interested in accessing new entrant quota can check the volume currently available. The table ‘First come first served HQB’ is updated regularly and can be found via the ‘Current quota usage’ tab above.
Prior to requesting their first TRQ certificate in a quota year an exporter should refer to section 28 of the Rules, to determine whether they are eligible as a new entrant. In particular, an exporter cannot be a new entrant if they are an associated entity (within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001) of any person who has been allocated an EU HQB entitlement in the previous 3 years or has used new entrant access quota in the previous 2 years. Interested exporters must complete the New Entrant Declaration form and provide it to the Quota Unit to confirm their eligibility each year.
Reallocation of quota for new entrants
On 15 February a reclaim and reallocation process takes place to aid in making quota available to those exporters that intend to use it in the remainder of the quota year.
As part of this process, any new entrant that has used new entrant quota during the quota year can apply to receive an allocation for use in the remainder of the year.
- An application is made by completing the required form and returning it to the department by 15 February.
- New entrants are limited in applying for an amount no larger than the amount of new entrant quota they had used previously in the quota year, and still capped at accessing no more than 80 tonnes.
- For example, an exporter that had used 30 tonnes of new entrant quota could apply for an allocation of up to 30 tonnes; whereas an exporter that had used 60 tonnes could apply for a maximum of 20 tonnes.
- The amount accessible across all new entrants is still limited to the 500 tonnes access amount.
Following the reallocation processes for new entrants and standard quota holders, any amount of quota unallocated becomes uncommitted quota available on a first come first served basis. Any exporter, including new entrants, can access this quota by applying for a certificate. The new entrant cap does not apply when accessing uncommitted quota.
By 15 February in the quota year, quota entitlement holders must advise the department whether they wish to return or retain any amount of their entitlement. Exporters wanting to receive additional allocations of quota that has been returned must also apply by 15 February.
If quota is unallocated following this process, it will be made available via complete requests for permits on a first come, first served basis.
To apply for a quota certificate for a consignment of HQB or grain-fed beef, an exporter must lodge a request for permit (RFP) through the department’s electronic documentation system, EXDOC.
Once the RFP has gone to ‘complete’ status in EXDOC, the data will go through to the Quota Unit on the next business day and a quota certificate will be printed. The original and 2 copies are mailed to the exporter and a copy is kept by the Quota Unit.
If a quota certificate needs to be altered in any way, the exporter must notify the Quota Unit and a replacement certificate can be issued. Before the replacement certificate can be sent out, all copies of the original issued certificate must first be returned to the Quota Unit.
Note: Quota administration is cost recovered on a per certificate basis in accordance with the Export Charges (Imposition-General) Regulation 2021 and the Export Control (Fees and Payments) Rules 2021. Exporters are invoiced monthly for any quota certificates issued. The current cost recovered amount is $35 per certificate issued.
Airfreight consignments may require urgent documentation and the Quota Unit will endeavour to process these manually if requested.
If an airfreight certificate is required urgently, email the Quota Unit with the RFP number of the consignment that requires a manual certificate. The email must be received by the Quota Unit no later than 1:00pm (Canberra time) for same-day processing.
Processing of same day certificates cannot be guaranteed. Processing and dispatch is dependent on staff availability and couriers. When generated, the certificate will be sent by Express Post or couriered (if courier account details have been provided to the Quota Unit).
This listing of current standard quota entitlement holders can be used to check which exporters hold quota, should another exporter wish to approach them for a transfer.
2022-23 Entitlement holders list
|514||JBS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD|
|207||OAKEY BEEF EXPORTS PTY LTD|
|774||THOMAS FOODS INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD|
|742||WARMOLL FOODS PTY LTD|
|675||WINGHAM BEEF EXPORTS PTY LTD|
|10||KILCOY PASTORAL CO LTD|
|366||TEYS AUSTRALIA BILOELA|
|628||TEYS AUSTRALIA WAGGA|
|514||JBS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD|
If existing entitlement holders wish to transfer some or all of their quota entitlement, they can do so by completing this form:
Notice to transfer annual quota entitlements.
Penalties apply to excess transfers of EU HQB. Exporters cannot receive an entitlement if they transfer more than 50% of their quota entitlement in any of the past 3 years. Transfers cannot be made after the reclamation day (15 February).
The EU and UK red meat quotas are governed by the Export Control (Tariff Rate Quotas - General) Rules 2021. These Rules outline how to apply for quota and how quota entitlements are calculated. Exporters should be familiar with the elements relevant to high quality beef.
The Quota Unit collects and manages the data presented on this website for commercial and government use. The data comes from the RFPs received through EXDOC.
For queries or assistance with EU and UK HQB or grain-fed quota, contact the Quota Unit:
Phone: 02 6272 4068