Approved arrangements for the export of livestock

Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock.

ASEL 3.0 will apply to all consignments exported on or after 1 November 2020.

Find out more about transitioning to ASEL 3.0. This includes changes to approved arrangements and approved export programs.

What is an approved arrangement?

An approved arrangement is an agreement between us and a livestock exporter. It streamlines the export certification process.

Approved arrangements set out the operations which, when correctly applied by a livestock exporter, will effectively manage the preparation and certification of livestock exported from Australia.

This approach is consistent with other export commodity approved arrangements.

The department approves approved arrangements under the Export Control (Animals) Order 2004. In order to export a consignment of livestock, an exporter must have:

  1. An export licence; and
  2. An approved arrangement (or a small and infrequent exemption); and
  3. An approved export program (AEP).

How to apply for or vary an arrangement

An exporter needs to make an application to us. This should include a draft arrangement outlining an exporter’s business systems and procedures and commitment to meeting all requirements.

Step 1: Check requirements that must be met

Arrangements must ensure livestock exported from Australia meet:

  • the current version of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL)
  • importing country requirements
  • relevant Australian Government, state and territory laws
  • other requirements as outlined in the Approved arrangement guidelines for the export of livestock.

On 22 April 2020, the department published a new version of ASEL. ASEL 3.0 will apply to all consignments exported on or after 1 November 2020. ASEL 2.3 continues to apply for all consignments exported on or before 31 October 2020.

The implementation of ASEL 3.0 will result in a number of administrative and export supply chain changes for exporters with an approved arrangement. The department has published information on how and when exporters will need to transition to ASEL 3.0, including changes required to approved arrangements and approved export programs.

Step 2: Draft a new or varied arrangement

Exporters should follow the Approved arrangement guidelines for the export of livestock to assist in developing or varying an arrangement.

An approved arrangement has 3 core components of:

  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 also cover the markets, species, classes (breeder, feeder or slaughter) and mode of transport (exported by air or sea) that the proposed approved arrangement will apply to.

The Approved arrangement guidelines for the export of livestock also covers how to write and apply for various components of an approved arrangement. This includes:

  • guidelines for writing management plans for certain types of livestock (such as heavy cattle by sea or livestock with young at foot by air)
  • assessment criteria and the process for applying for alternative pen space approval.


Document Pages File size
Approved Arrangement Guidelines for the export of livestock PDF  68 1.7 MB
Approved Arrangement Guidelines for the export of livestock DOCX 68 1.2 MB
A mock Approved Arrangement PDF 26 1.4 MB
A mock Approved Arrangement DOCX 68 146 KB

Step 3: Submitting documents

New applications

Submit the following documents to the Live Animal Export Branch national office:


If exporters need to vary an existing approved arrangement, they should send these documents to the Live Animal Export Branch national office:

  • the variation request made in writing
  • the varied or new components of the approved arrangement (such addition of a new Standard Export Plan (SEP) to add a new market)
  • a completed credit card payment form authorising the application charge.

New SEPs must be approved before an exporter can apply for an export permit and health certificate. Once approved, we will tell the exporter if it will require full livestock inspection and documentation verification for a number of consignments to verify arrangements. Read Performance Management and Compliance Guidelines.

Assessing an application

We 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 will contact the applicant if:

  • any changes are required to the arrangement
  • we need more information.

If the application meets the requirements, we will tell the exporter in writing.

Applications are assessed at the national office in Canberra. The department will only assess complete applications.

Applications that are missing required information or need clarification are incomplete. If the application is incomplete, we will let applicants know.

Assessment timeframes

Once the application is complete, please allow:

  • 40 business days for new arrangements
  • 20 business days for variations

From the date of payment of the application charge.

Supporting material

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

Supporting material includes:

Performance management

Approved arrangements allow us to:

  • focus our efforts and resources on areas of highest risk
  • recognise the efforts of compliant exporters.

We have released Performance Management and Compliance Guidelines for approved arrangements.

They provide an outline of the performance management and compliance framework to be applied to exporters under approved arrangements.

Mechanisms we use to monitor performance include:

  • audits
  • inspection of livestock
  •  verifying documentation.

We will also use a range of indicators to assess an exporter’s performance, including:

  • livestock export incidents
  • issues identified by importing countries
  • consignment mortality rates.

We vary the level of regulatory oversight depending on the exporter’s performance over time.

It may:

  • increase based on poor performance
  • remain unchanged based on marginal performance
  • be reduced based on compliant performance.

See more:

Exemptions to having an approved arrangement

Small and infrequent exporters may apply for an exemption.

This includes reduced fees and limits export quantities.

For details see small and infrequent exemption.

Have a question?

Read the frequently asked questions.

Or contact us if you need more information.

Last reviewed: 26 August 2020
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

Please verify that you are not a robot.