Exporting goods and COVID-19

News and alerts

See the latest updates from the Australian Government (australia.gov.au)

We have taken steps to maintain export chains while also protecting our staff and clients.

We may need to reassess our processes as we receive new information about the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You still need to follow all existing Australian laws and importing country requirements.

Our services

We are still operating as normal. We will continue to certify products, inspect and audit premises and assist with exports.

You can still call us, email us and send requests through our online systems.

We will not host or attend any face-to-face meetings or workshops during this time.

Air freight support

We want to back Australia’s agriculture and seafood export sectors.

The International Freight Assistance Mechanism is a $110 million initiative to help exporters get their high-value products into key overseas markets.

Return flights will bring back items critical to the ongoing health response. This includes vital medical supplies, medicines and equipment. 

See who is eligible and how to apply.

Temporary changes to importing country requirements

Our trading partners may want extra assurances for food and agricultural products due to the spread of COVID-19.

These temporary requirements may be requested by importing country competent authorities. They could include:

  • requests for additional assurances on export certificates
  • statements or evidence that products are not contaminated and are safe for human consumption.

Check the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) for any updates.

European Union (EU) export certificates

EU countries will accept scanned copies of export certificates. This is only when it is not possible to present the original certificate with the consignment.

Read the details.

Email WebExports@awe.gov.au.

Other export certificates

Continue to send original paper certificates to exporting countries.

We recommend sending a scanned copy as a contingency.

See advice on temporary arrangements for verifying plant export certificates.

Overseas plant verification

Overseas National Plant Protection Organisations will not be able to travel to Australia to verify products. We are looking at other ways for Australian products to be verified during this time.

Food safety

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2. There has been no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted through food. This is supported by advice from:

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends good hygiene practices while handling and preparing food.

Food safety controls and standards

We’re confident Australia’s regulatory controls can manage any potential food safety issues. We have strict controls for producing meat, dairy, seafood, plant and egg products intended for export. These food products must be:

  • free from harmful levels of contaminants
  • suitable for human consumption.

All food products must still meet Australian domestic food safety legislation and standards. These are included in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Only products that meet Australian and importing country requirements will be eligible for export.

Food exported from Australia is safe and not a source of risk from the virus.

We will not provide extra certification or tailored statements for individual product exports that refer to COVID-19.

Access to premises

Some exports need our certification before they can leave Australia. This includes dairy, eggs, fish, animal products, and plants and plant products.

We will need access to your premises to conduct audits and inspections. This is a mandatory requirement.

To do this, we will need access to your premises to:

  • inspect your products
  • ensure you have completed the required verification tasks and audit processes
  • ensure you are meeting the requirements of your approved arrangement.

On-site interactions can be conducted by:

  • officers authorised under the Export Control Act
  • technical specialists, such as food safety auditors
  • veterinary officers
  • Islamic organisations with an Approved Arrangement

While we continue our onsite audits we still need access to your premises. We will do this while we can still travel.

Grain and seed exports

We are unable to approve new:

  • anchorages for bulk vessel inspections
  • export compliant goods storages.

Live animals

You still must meet all existing export laws and requirements.

Accredited stockpersons

You may not have been able to source accredited stockpersons for your voyage due to travel restrictions. We can fast-track assessments for stockpersons with the right skills and experience.

Contact LiveCorp to discuss.

Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS)

You must still meet all ESCAS requirements. We have extended the timeframe for the first independent audit reporting period.

See the details and instructions.

Health advice

Industry notices

Get the latest updates on:

Last reviewed: 15 May 2020
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