European Union: Dairy and seafood - Changes to load out inspection requirement (2021-01)

Date of issue: 7 January 2021

Date of effect: Immediate


  • Industries – Dairy Export Industry Consultative Committee
  • Industries – Seafood Export Consultative Committee
  • Export registered dairy and seafood establishments
  • Licensed exporters
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment – Central and regional offices


To notify industry of recent changes to the requirement of load out inspections for European Union (EU) consignments containing prescribed dairy and seafood products.  

Summary of Key Points

Due to the current covid-19 environment the department has been restricted in its ability to conduct onsite load out container inspections in line with the EU’s requirement of dairy and seafood consignments. As an interim measure the department will seek to move to conducting verification of this activity remotely.

There is no longer a requirement to book a load out inspection at the time of submitting export permit applications for the EU. Instead the department will select random consignments pre and post departure and contact exporters directly to conduct remote verification.

Verification numbers will remain at five percent of dairy and seafood consignments. These verification activities will be charged to the exporter of the product as per previous load out inspections. Please refer to the departments charging guidelines for further information.

All supporting information currently submitted with export permit applications for dairy and seafood consignments is still required:

  • Manufacturers declaration of compliance identifying EU eligibility. This is required for each batch of dairy and seafood product being exported.
  • National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA) certification confirming compliance with EU microbiological requirements (for each batch) – where applicable.
  • Your completed EU eligibility checklist

The EU eligibility checklist has been updated to reflect this change. The checklist is attached to this notice and can be downloaded for use.

The department will contact exporters directly where their consignment has been randomly selected for verification and request the following information:

  • Copy of the loading sheet (packing information from despatching/packing establishment)
  • Copy of the container checklist which ensures the condition of the container is suitable for use
  • Photograph of the empty container
  • Photograph/s of the packed container (doors open) showing each product type and batch (where there is more than one)
  • Photograph of the closed container showing the container and seal number.

Please note the above documentation should be kept on record and be in the exporter’s possession. This is not a new requirement so should not be an added burden on exporters.


There are specific requirements to support the eligibility of dairy and seafood products destined for export to the EU. Only departmental staff can authorise export permits to the EU, and approval is only granted when EU compliance is demonstrated.

The EU requires the department to undertake random inspections of container load outs to verify the effectiveness of the establishment checks and accuracy of information on health certificates.

These inspections are subject to a minimum of five per cent (each for dairy and seafood consignments) determined on a random basis. The inspections involve verifying the information on the request for permit (RFPs) with the product being exported. These inspections are currently charged to the nominated exporter of the product.

Certification requirements include:

  • Health certificates and export permits must be obtained prior to the date of departure from Australia
  • Customs clearance must also be obtained via the Single Electronic Window (SEW), which is through the department’s electronic documentation system (EXDOC).

Your EU listing may be suspended or cancelled if it is found that:

  • your Approved Arrangement (AA) does not clearly document EU requirements
  • EU requirements are not being followed
  • there are no records available to verify EU eligibility.

Download attachment

Document Pages File size
Eurpoean Union eligibility checklist PDF  3 207 KB
Eurpoean Union eligibility checklist DOCX  3 99 KB

If you have difficulty accessing this file, visit web accessibility for assistance.

Further information

Contact if you have any queries.

The information provided in this advice is current at the time of writing and is intended for use as guidance only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. The Commonwealth endeavours to keep information current and accurate, however, it may be subject to change without notice. Exporters are encouraged to verify these details with their importers prior to undertaking production/exports. The Commonwealth will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on information contained in this notice.


Last reviewed: 11 January 2021
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