2013-08 - Requirements for transfer of prescribed goods (meat, dairy, fish and egg products)

​Date of notice: 12/04/13
Date of effect: immediate


This document provides information to industry on the requirements for transfer of export eligible meat, dairy, fish and egg products.


Requirements for transfer of prescribed good for dairy, egg, fish and meat commodities are covered in the commodity orders:

  • Export Control (Milk and Milk Products) Orders 2005: Schedule 8, Parts 1 and 3
  • Export Control (Egg and Egg Products) Orders 2005: Schedule 8, Parts 1 and 3
  • Export Control (Fish and Fish Products) Orders 2005: Schedule 8, Parts 1 and 3
  • Export Control (Meat and Meat Products) Orders 2005: Schedule 7, Parts 1 and 2.

When transfer documentation is required

  1. Transfer documentation, known as ‘transfer certificates’, must be completed for every movement between registered establishments within the export chain to ensure the integrity of export product.
  2. Transfer certificates are required when moving products with a valid export permit to cover the movement of the goods for loading for export, i.e. you still need to provide a transfer certificate if product is going to a freight forwarder and you have a valid export permit or health certificate.

When transfer documentation is not required

Division IV of the commodity Orders state that the Orders do not apply to the following types of establishments due to the limited processing activity conducted:

  • dairy farms and establishments that only store and chill milk
  • egg layer farms that only collect and chill eggs
  • catcher vessels and aquaculture farms that only harvest, gill, gut and chill fish
  • cattle farms that supply cattle for slaughter (except if EU)
  • establishments that may have an exemption in place to process in a non-registered establishment.

These types of establishments above are not required to be export registered and 
therefore are not required to complete the information required for transfer, in accordance with the commodity Orders. However, the export registered establishment receiving the products must retain records of goods received for traceability and recall purposes.

Product being transferred between different registered establishments that have the same occupier (inter-company transfer) do not require a transfer certificate providing they have an alternative method  that meets the objectives for transfer requirements, documented in their approved arrangement, however, a meat transfer certificate (MTC) is still required for intercompany transfers for meat and meat products.

Who can receive export eligible product?

Product intended for export may be transferred from one registered establishment to another providing that each establishment is registered in respect of the particular commodity and operation.

For example, an export registered dairy processor may transfer dairy product produced under their approved arrangement to a cold store that is registered to store dairy commodity. The product cannot be transferred to a cold store that is only registered to store meat and/or egg and/or fish commodities and is not registered to store dairy products.

It is the responsibility of the despatching establishment to ensure that the receiving establishment is appropriately registered to receive the product.

Transfer of product to establishments that are not appropriately registered will result in loss of the product’s export eligibility.

Transfer of products for further processing and inter-company transfer

Product being transferred from a registered establishment to another registered establishment for further processing (i.e. not export eligible in its current form) must have a transfer certificate that clearly states that the product is for further processing and not eligible for export in its current form.

Transfer information and declaration requirements

The information that is required to be given on transfer of export product is specified under;

  1. Part 3, Schedule 8 of the Milk, Egg and Fish Orders; and,
  2. Part 2, Schedule 7 of the Meat Orders.

The transfer information must be in writing (paper or electronic) and must be provided to the receiving establishment (consignee) at the time of dispatch of the goods and/or may accompany the goods.

Each transfer certificate must have a declaration stating that:

  1. the importing country requirements (if applicable to the goods) as identified in the approved arrangement have been complied with; and
  2. the conditions and restrictions in accordance with:
    1. Orders 40 to 50 of the fish Orders; or
    2. Orders 37 to 45 of the milk Orders; or
    3. Orders 37 to 45 of the egg Orders; or
    4. Conditions and restrictions specified in Part 4 of the meat Orders
      have been complied with (dependant on the commodity as above).
  3. The declaration must be signed and dated by:
    1. For meat; the occupier of the establishment; or
    2. For dairy, egg and fish commodities either the occupier of the establishment , or, a person who is nominated in the establishment’s approved arrangement as being able to sign declarations.

What if product is received with inaccurate or incomplete transfer information?

If export product is transferred and the receiving establishment does not receive the information required for transfer or if the information received is inaccurate or incomplete, then the receiving establishment must:

  1. Notify a DAFF authorised officer as soon as practical after becoming aware that the transfer documentation is given or is not accurate or incomplete
  2. Secure the goods and not enter goods for export unless a DAFF authorised officer gives written permission for the products to be dealt with further.
  3. Goods are to be dealt with as not for export as food.

Other references

DAFF Meat Notice​ 2012-05

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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