Update 1: Grain and Plant Products Export Industry Consultative Committee

​​March 2013 - Update 1


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About the Grain and Plant Products Export Industry Consultative Committee

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) Grain and Plant Products Export Industry Consultative Committee (the Committee) is the principal forum for DAFF to consult with grain, fodder, nut, seed and timber industries on export inspection, certification, export market access and other relevant issues.

The Committee aims to provide effective consultation, communication and partnership between DAFF and industry stakeholders involved in phytosanitary exports by ensuring stakeholders’ views are given due consideration.

For more information visit Grain and Plant Products Export Industry Consultative Committee.

The Committee met on 1 March 2013 in Canberra. Updates will be issued following each committee meeting and will provide an update on key projects and issues.

Key updates

Australian Biosecurity Awards 2013

The 2013 Australian Biosecurity Awards recognised individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution to maintaining Australia’s Biosecurity integrity across the continuum—offshore, at the border and onshore.

A key outcome of the Export Certification Reform Package for the Plant Export Sector is the implementation of the Authorised Officer model.  The model allows individuals from industry to participate in DAFF training and competency assessments to become Authorised Officers.

GrainCorp, CT Freight and Grenfell Commodities were recognised for their proactive uptake and early advocacy of the Authorised Officer model and the benefits that the model provides industry.

DAFF congratulates Mr Phillip Clamp and Mr Jason Shanley from GrainCorp, Mr Scott Blood from CT Freight (who could not attend the awards) and Mr Trevor Mawhinney from Grenfell commodities who were awarded an Australian Biosecurity Award on 5 March 2013.

Exporting plants and plant products: A step-by-step guide for Australian exporters

Plant Export Operations has released a new exporter’s guide, Exporting plants and plant products: A step-by-step guide for Australian exporters.

The guide provides step-by-step instructions for exporters so they can meet export requirements for their plants and plant products. It also offers advice on how to reduce the costs of exporting. There are six steps to getting plant and plant products to their overseas market. The step-by-step guide walks exporters through these steps and clearly sets out the roles and responsibilities of the exporter and DAFF.

The guide is now available on the DAFF website.

Export Compliant Goods Storage (ECGS)

With the finalisation of the Plant Exports Operation Manual Volume 7A, the Export Compliant Goods Storage Policy Document, and the Hazard Identification Mitigation Survey, Export Compliant Goods Storage is now a reality.

Export Compliant Goods Storage allows exporters to have their prescribed goods inspected at an early point in the supply chain and be stored in an approved receptacle for up to 28 days before export.

This new capacity provides greater flexibility for exporters by giving an alternative to conventional end point inspections and as a result reduces the risk of goods being rejected at the time of export.

To get this new system up and running DAFF worked in close consultation with industry, exporters and the bulk handlers to ensure that a robust mechanism for maintaining the phytosanitary integrity of prescribed goods was devised.

A comprehensive compliance and verification process will ensure that establishments maintain an approved status and that the integrity of stored product is maintained until export.

Bulk vessel and empty container instructional material

Bulk vessel and empty container reference material have been realigned with the Export Control (Plants and Plant Products) Order 2011. For bulk vessels, treatment requirements have been simplified and inspection procedures have been updated. For empty containers, the use of lamination to upgrade non-consumable grade containers to consumable grade has been included.

Plant Export Operation Manual volume 10 – Inspection of Empty Bulk Vessels, volume 11 – Inspection of Empty Containers, Work Instruction – Inspection of empty bulk vessels and Work Instruction –Inspection of empty containers have been uploaded to the DAFF website.

IT update – Plant Export Management System (PEMS)

The objective of the Plant Exports Management System (PEMS) project is to implement an IT application that eliminates bottlenecks and improves efficiencies in the export certification process. This will occur through efficient storage, transmission and reporting of plant exports inspection data and the supporting documentation for maintaining existing markets and gaining access to new markets.

PEMS will be implemented in two releases. The design of the system has been completed and the first release is scheduled for deployment in November 2013. The schedule for second release which includes Export Compliant Goods Storage and offline functionality is being determined.

The PEMS project will deliver the following functions to industry:

  • exporters will be able to submit requests for DAFF inspection appointments and certificates electronically using PEMS
  • establishment executive will be able to generate reports on inspections conducted at establishments that belong to them, these reports could be used to analyse the performance of the establishment in terms of inspections
  • Authorised Officers are able to securely record and retrieve inspection data and the supporting documentation from PEMS.

Authorised Officers (AOs)

DAFF continues to receive consistent numbers of Authorised Officer applications each week.  As of 15 March, 1148 industry applications were received, of which 919 directly relate to Grain and Plant Products for Export. Authorised Officer candidates are actively seeking training via DAFF Plant Export Assessors.

Once an industry Authorised Officer has completed a competency assessment and is found competent they are able to fully utilise the benefits that the National Training and Assessment Framework provides. As at 15 March, 291 industry candidates have been appointed as Authorised Officers, of which 266 were appointed for one or more job function directly relating to Grain and Plant Products for Export.

Inspection techniques guides

DAFF is working with a consultant to develop inspection techniques guides for Authorised Officers conducting plant export phytosanitary inspections.

The guides will consist of photos with simple text describing the techniques used for inspecting various plant commodity groups. They will also have sections dedicated to photos of common pests and diseases and their signs and symptoms.

The guides will be used by Authorised Officers for reference during inspections and will complement training materials used by DAFF Plant Export Assessors. It is expected that the guides will increase efficiency and national consistency in plant export inspections across both industry and DAFF Authorised Officers.

Export Permits

DAFF is aware that in some cases prescribed goods are being exported prior to an Export Permit being issued.

This presents a potential risk as consignments may be exported that are not compliant with importing country requirements.

DAFF is investigating options to ensure that all export permits are issued in accordance with legislation prior to export from Australia, ensuring all product is export compliant prior to departure.

Rebates grains – transitional funding 

The government provided $2.5M in transitional funding to the Grain and Seed Export Industry relating to export activity in the 2011–12 financial year. The transitional support was sourced from Export Certification Reform Implementation funding. A total of 1,335 grain and seed exporting clients received transitional funding, and these amounts were sent to clients as credit invoices on 30 July 2012.

Membership details

Membership of the Committee includes representatives of commodity sectors regulated by the DAFF Grain and Seed Export Program.

Australian Fodder Industry Association: Mr Malcolm May
Australian Forest Products Association: Mr Gavin Matthew
Australian Grain Exporters’ Association: Ms Rosemary Richards & Mr Adrian Reginato
Australian Mungbean Association: Mr Andrew Boundy
Australian Nut Industry Council: Mr Chris Joyce
Australian Oilseed Federation: Mr Nick Goddard
Australian Seed Federation: Mr Bill Fuller
Pulse Australia: Mr Tim Edgecombe
Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia: Ms Bronwyn Sigmund
Grain Growers Ltd: Mr Chris Kelly
Grain Producers Australia Ltd: Mr Barry Large
Grain Trade Australia Ltd: Mr Geoff Honey and Mr Geoff Barker
Eastern bulk handlers and port operators: Mr Phil Clamp
Southern bulk handlers and port operators: Mr Andrew Hannon
Western bulk handlers and port operators: Dr Narelle Moore

Next meeting details

Thursday 11 July 2013
Thursday 14 November 2013

Contact details

Your feedback, comments and suggestions are important. If you require further information or have a question regarding information presented in this update, please speak to your industry association contact or DAFF directly.

Please send general correspondence to the Secretariat at Grain Export.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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