Dairy exporters

​​Dairy exporters in Australia must meet requirements set by Australian export laws and by the importing country.

New exportersread our step-by-step guide to exporting dairy products.

Types of goods

You need to understand how your product is defined by law, as export requirements differ between products.

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Prescribed goods

Any dairy product:

  • manufactured in Australia intended for human consumption; and
  • where the major ingredient is dairy.

Except products destined for New Zealand, which are considered to be non-prescribed.

Examples include:

  • butter
  • cheese
  • cream
  • dairy based dips
  • milk, milk powder and milk powder blends (including infant formula, protein or whey powders)
  • yoghurt.

If you plan to export prescribed goods, you must register with us as an exporter. You must use only registered establishments.

Organic products are also prescribed. Check requirements to export products as organic.

Non-prescribed goods

Examples include:

  • products obtained from a cow for animal consumption
  • products obtained from a cow for human consumption where dairy is
  • not the major ingredient (by weight or volume), or
  • the major ingredient, but it is not like a prescribed dairy product (e.g. ice-cream, cheesecake, custard, colostrum)
  • from an animal other than a cow, including sheep, goat, buffalo, camel
  • any dairy product destined for New Zealand.

You do not need to register with us to export non-prescribed goods. 

In some cases, a non-prescribed good becomes a prescribed dairy product when an importing country requires export registration and certification.

Check our Manual of Importing Country Requirements (Micor) and talk to your importer. 

Find out more about non-prescribed goods.

Importing country requirements

You must meet all requirements set by your importing country.

Before you export:

  • check Micor for any conditions relating to your goods
  • talk to your importing country authority through your importer.

Some countries set extra conditions for goods imported to their country. Check our advice on:

Export quotas

Some of our trade agreements include quotas with reduced tariff rates for certain products. In some cases, we manage these export quotas.

You may be eligible if you export to:

  • European Union
  • United States of America

Check if export quotas apply to your goods.


You must register with us to export prescribed dairy products.

Register as an exporter through the Next Export Documentation System (NEXDOC). This is how you link your details to documents requested through the system.

Exporter responsibilities

As an exporter you are the person or company legally responsible for meeting all export requirements for the products you are shipping from Australia.

Your company name is on all export documents. You make (or have in your possession) all declarations that the products:

  • are fit for export
  • meet all importing country requirements

Exporter obligations

Exporters have an obligation to ensure prescribed goods are eligible for export prior to the goods been exported. It is also the exporter’s obligation to ensure the correct export certification is obtained and what will happen when prescribed goods are exported without a valid documentation. A fact sheet has been developed and can be downloaded to help you in understanding these obligations.


Document Pages File size
Obligations as a registered exporter PDF  4 156 KB
Obligations as a registered exporter DOCX  4 27 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, please visit web accessibility.

Export registered establishments

You must use an establishment registered with us to source, prepare and store your goods. 

Products must only be transferred to registered establishments to be eligible for export.


Export registration and documentation is not required for goods:

  • exported to New Zealand
  • legally imported into Australia and exported with no further processing or repackaging.

You may also be exempt if you are exporting:

  • less than 10kg per consignment. Some importing countries (i.e. the European Union) require export documentation regardless of the quantity. Exporters are encouraged to liaise with their importers prior to export.
  • non-prescribed goods where the importing country does not require registration.

Always check Micor for specific country requirements. Talk to your importer for any further details.

Export documentation

Consignments of prescribed goods must have a valid export permit in place before being exported from Australia. An export permit enables product to leave Australia and a health certificate enables the product to enter the importing country (not required for all countries). You can make a Request for Export (REX) through NEXDOC.

You must include information such as:

  • product type, for example milk, butter, cheese, infant formula
  • cut code, used to identify your goods
  • Australian Harmonised Export Commodity Code (AHECC).

Check the codes for your products.

You must confirm that you have:

The manufacturer may give you documentation to meet importing country requirements. If they don't, you must prove to us that your goods meet requirements.

After we approve your REX, we will send you an export permit. All shipments leaving Australia must have an export permit. You will also receive a health certificate, if required by the importing country.

Fees and charges apply.

The export of prescribed goods without a valid export permit is a breach of these requirements and treated very seriously and sanctions may be applied to companies.

Organic products

To export organic or biodynamic produce, you must have an organic produce certificate. You will only get this if you sourced your products from a certified supplier.

You must have a certificate for each shipment.

Request your organic produce certificate from an approved certifying organisation.

Find out more about exporting organic or biodynamic goods.

Last reviewed: 11 June 2021
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