Fish exporters

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

New exporters - read our step-by-step guide to exporting fish and fish 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 seafood product:

  • intended for human consumption; and
  • where the major ingredient is fish (aquaculture or wild caught).

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

Examples include:

  • abalone
  • crocodile
  • crustaceans (such as prawns, rock lobster, yabbies, crabs)
  • finfish (such as eel, tuna)
  • shellfish (such as oysters, scallops, mussels, pipis, clams, cockles)
  • products where if fish was removed as an ingredient, the product would no longer have the stated or implied characteristics (such as sand-crab lasagne, smoked salmon dip, fish sauce).

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:

  • shells
  • seaweeds
  • products where fish is an ingredient but not the major part (weight or volume) of the product, such as
  • bakery products containing fish oils
  • fish oil capsules
  • fish and fish products for animal food
  • products where fish is an ingredient but is not described or represented as being a fish product.

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

In some cases, a non-prescribed good becomes a prescribed fish 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 our Micor for any conditions relating to your goods
  • talk to your importing country authority through your importer.


You must register with us to export prescribed fish products.

Register as an exporter through our Electronic Export Documentation System (EXDOC). 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 in solid form or 10L in liquid form per consignment
  • less than 2kg in dried form (except for dried abalone)
  • 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 Permit (RFP) through the departments export documentation database.

You must include information such as:

  • product type, used to identify the species or group of species of fish
  • cut code, used to identify your goods
  • Australian Harmonised Export Commodity Code (AHECC).

Check the cod​es 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 RFP, we will send you an export permit. All shipments leaving Australia must have a 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: 14 April 2021
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