2012-10 - Electronic certification soon to be mandatory for all fish exports

​​29 October 2012

From 1 February 2013 electronic certification will be mandatory for all export of fish products. To assist you in moving from a manual certification system, information is included that may help you choose the best options available for you to obtain export documentation electronically.

This change has been supported by the Seafood Export Consultative Committee (SECC) and supports the primary aim to deliver more efficient export certification and inspection services. Currently the use of electronic certification through the Export Documentation (EXDOC) system is mandatory for meat and dairy export commodities.


The EXDOC system supports the preparation of export documentation for products which are prescribed under the Export Control Act 1982 and subordinate legislation and to meet importing country requirements. The system is operated by the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), formerly the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), and has been in place since 1998. It forms an integral part of overall DAFF procedures, which aim to ensure product for export meets Australian and importing country requirements.

The EXDOC system accepts details of proposed exports and links that information with the results of establishment audit and inspection of product, establishment and coding information such as overseas listings and registered operations on the Export Register database (ER). Where the system verifies that the product is eligible, EXDOC issues export permits and/or government certificates when required by the importing country.

Contingency arrangements

In the event of an EXDOC outage, or, if there is no EXDOC template available for the destination then manual documentation may be used in accordance with current arrangements. Refer to the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) for documentation requirements. MICoR is available on our website.

What does this mean for your business?

Firstly, you must register with EXDOC. There are two types of registration; you may register as either an exporter and/or an EDI User

The Exporter registration is for those clients that wish their name to be included as the exporter of the goods on export documentation. You do not require EXDOC software to be a registered exporter.

An EDI User is the party requesting the export documentation electronically. An EDI User must have a mailbox registered with DAFF and have installed a third party software package to interface with EXDOC.

You may either:

  • use an agent that is able to process your export documentation requirements; or
  • use an accredited third party software.

Should you consider that the quantities or value of products you export do not justify becoming an EXDOC EDI user, engaging another company to act as your EXDOC agent, may better suit your export requirements. Some freight forwarding companies, large fish export companies and EXDOC software providers offer this service. However, please note that if you wish to export in your name you will need to register as an exporter with DAFF.

For further information about registering as an EXDOC client please visit the DAFF website where detailed information and contact points can be found about:

If you wish to install your own software, please be aware that the process can take several weeks, as it will require you to undergo training to gain an awareness of the system as well as user testing. If you intend to register with EXDOC as an EDI user, I urge you to commence the process well in advance of your next fish export shipment.

Further enquiries

Please contact the Dairy, Eggs & Fish Export Program, on 02 6272 3933.

Issued by: DAFF Dairy, Eggs and Fish Program, Canberra

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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