Information for trading partners – changes to certificates and security seals

We are making improvements to our certification system for all exported agricultural products.

This includes making changes to:

  • export certificates
  • signatures on health certificates
  • physical seals for consignments where a departmental security seal is required.

Negotiated and agreed attestations for market access will not change.

We will update this page as more information becomes available.

Export certificates

Changes to export certification will happen in stages, by commodity. The timing will depend on when the commodity is available in our new export documentation system, NEXDOC.

Check when commodities will be available in NEXDOC.

There will be a transition period from 1 September 2019.

During this time, we’ll issue both the current export certification and the new export certification.

Changes include:

  • using the name Australian Government — rather than previous names of the department
  • using the Australian Government crest
  • adding a unique Quick Reader (QR) code to check the authenticity of the certificate in real-time
  • using attachment pages, where needed, to capture more information that can’t fit on the first page of the certificate
  • facsimile/electronic signatures on some certificates
  • issuing certificates on plain paper — when issued with a QR code.

These changes are for paper certificates only. There will be no changes to electronic certification (eCert).

Added Quick Reader (QR) code

The new plain paper certificates will include a unique QR code. This is an added security feature.

Users can scan the QR code to see an overview of the certificate. They can use it to confirm details such as:

  • the certificate number
  • product types
  • current certificate state
  • exporter
  • consignee
  • departure date.

The QR code can be read by:

  • any QR capable device


  • by using the department’s certificate scanner mobile application - available at no cost via the Android Google Play store and the Apple App Store.

If you use a generic QR code reader, you must validate the URL belongs to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Signatures on health certificates

Australia is removing the signature of the Chief Veterinary Officer from all meat, dairy, egg and seafood health certificates.

It will be replaced with a signature from a senior veterinary officer, or the signature of an authorised officer, depending on the certificate attestation(s).

The new signatories will be on certificates issued by Australia from end May 2019.

Security seals for containers

From 1 August 2019, official Australian Government security seals on export containers will look different.

This change only applies to consignments where a departmental security seal is required.

Current container seals

The current container seals have the pre-fix ‘A’ just prior to the serial number of the seal. The following photo shows the current seals.

New container seals

The new container seals no longer have the pre-fix ‘A’. The following photo shows the new container seals.

Consignments in transit sealed before 1 August 2019 will use the current seals.

The Export Control (Prescribed Goods-General) Orders 2005 requires bolt and tamper indicative seals to carry a unique number.

The security features of the seals will still:

  • be comprised of either a bolt or a metal strap seal
  • be tamper evident
  • carry a unique number
  • comply with ISO17712 Freight containers – mechanical seals.

Export document system update

We are replacing EXDOC with a new system called Next Export Documentation System (NEXDOC).

NEXDOC will make Australia’s export documentation system more secure and responsive to changes in trade conditions. This includes changes requested by the importing country.

NEXDOC does not change our existing certification arrangements or our regulatory control over exports.

Find out more about transitioning to NEXDOC.


We are working with trading partners to ensure a smooth transition to the new export certificate and security seals, minimising any disruptions to trade.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns contact Exports.

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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