Approved arrangements for the export of livestock

​​​​​​​​​An approved arrangement is an agreement between the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and a livestock exporter that allows for a streamlined export certification process. The purpose of the approved arrangement is to describe the operations which, when correctly applied by a livestock export business (the exporter), will effectively manage the preparation and certification of livestock exported from Australia. This approach is consistent with other export commodity approved arrangements.

All livestock exporters need an approved arrangement to export.  From 1 January 2017, under the Export Control (Animals) Order 2004, the department cannot approve Notices of Intention (NoI) for exports or issue export permits and health certificates for livestock exporters who do not have an approved arrangement (unless a small and infrequent exporter exemption has been granted).

Application Process

To enter into an approved arrangement an exporter will need to make an application, as well as drafting an arrangement outlining an exporter’s commitment, describes its business systems and details the procedures to ensure livestock exported from Australia meet:

  • the Australian standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL)
  • importing country requirements
  • relevant Australian Government legislation and other requirements.

The approved arrangement guidelines for the export of livestock provide a format for exporters to follow to assist in developing their arrangement.

The guidelines are broken into three parts:

  1. Governance: the governance of the livestock export business supports the effective implementation and ongoing management of the approved arrangement.
  2. Operations: livestock for export are sourced, transported, prepared and exported in accordance with importing country requirements, ASEL and relevant Australian Government legislative requirements.
  3. Quality Assurance: procedures are in place to ensure the business systems used by the exporter are effective and manage risks.

An exporter’s approved arrangement must cover the markets, species, classes (breeder, feeder or slaughter) and modes of transport (exported by air or sea) the exporter proposes to export livestock from Australia.

Approved arrangement submission and approval

The applicant must submit the following documents to the Live Animal Export Branch national office:

The department will complete a desktop review of the arrangement and an on-site audit—both of which need to fill the necessary requirements for the arrangement to be approved.

An assessing officer from the department will contact the applicant if any changes are required to the arrangement, or if any other further information or clarification is required.

Applications are assessed at the national office in Canberra. The department will only assess complete applications. An application that is missing required information or needs clarification is considered an incomplete application. If the application is incomplete, the applicant will be contacted by an assessor to request the information the application is missing. Once the application is complete, please allow 40 business days from the date of payment of the application charge, for the application to be assessed.

If a proposed approved arrangement meets the requirements for approval the exporter will be notified in writing.

Supporting material

Supporting material has been prepared to assist exporters in writing their approved arrangement.

Supporting material includes:

A series of webinars have also been prepared to assist exporters in writing their approved arrangement. These videos can be accessed on the LiveCorp website. If you are unable to access the webinars via the LiveCorp website, contact the department to arrange for a DVD of the webinars to be sent to you.

A version of the current guidelines, and a version with tracked changes, is available for download below.


DocumentPagesFile size
Approved Arrangement Guidelines for the export of livestock PDF 36800 KB
Approved Arrangement Guidelines for the export of livestock DOC 360 KB

Performance management

Approved arrangements allow the department to focus its efforts and resources on areas of highest risk, and recognise the efforts of compliant exporters.

The department has released Performance Management and Compliance Guidelines for approved arrangements. The document provides an outline of the performance management and compliance framework to be applied to exporters under Approved Arrangements.

Mechanisms used by the department to monitor performance will include audits, inspection of livestock and verification of documentation. A range of indicators will also be used by the department to assess an exporter’s performance, including livestock export incidents, issues identified by importing countries and consignment mortality rates.

The level of regulatory oversight of exporters will depend on an individual exporter’s performance over time and may increase based on poor performance, remain unchanged based on marginal performance or be reduced based on compliant performance.

Available material includes

Performance Management and Compliance Guidelines

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, 2016

The Performance Management and Compliance Guidelines provide an outline of the performance management and compliance framework to be applied to exporters under Approved Arrangements.


DocumentPagesFile size
Performance Management and Compliance Guidelines PDF363.24 MB
Performance Management and Compliance Fact Sheet DOCX272 KB


Exporters may apply to be considered as a small and infrequent exporter. This exempts the exporter from having an approved arrangement and includes reduced fees and limited export quantities.

For details please see the Small and infrequent exemption page.

More information

For more information, please see the frequently asked questions​ page and if you can't find the answer to your question or have a general question or comment about exporting livestock please contact us.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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