Export of animal reproductive material
Under Australia's Export Control Act 1982 and its supporting legislation an Export Permit and Health Certificate issued by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture is required to export all animal reproductive material from Australia. This includes embryos, eggs or ova, semen, and anything from which a complete live animal can be produced.
Please note that the exporter will be charged on a fee-for-service basis for services provided by the department, including audit and approval of facilities/teams and issuing health certificates and export permits.
The following five steps outline how to prepare reproductive material for export:
1. Complying with importing country's requirements
To export reproductive material from Australia, you must comply with the importing country’s requirements. It is your responsibility to contact officials of the importing country for specific importing country requirements. Some countries issue an import permit that has the importing requirements appended or referenced.
You must supply the importing country’s requirements to the department, with a certified level 2/3 National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) translation if the original is not in English. Other countries have an agreed protocol for importing requirements. These can be found using our Manual of Importing Country Requirements MICoR Live Animals. All MICoR entries for reproductive material are available publically without requiring a MICoR login. As importing country’s requirements can change without notice, it is your responsibility to verify that the requirements to which you are working are current and correct.
Importing countries require a range of guarantees about the collected material, and may set out requirements including (but not limited to):
- donor health testing before and after collection
- donor property of origin health status
- collection property health status
- who performs the collection
- collection, processing and storage requirements for the collected material – including the standard to which the collection centre must be approved.
You must have documentary evidence for all of these guarantees. These may include vendor declarations, certification from state/territory veterinary authorities and testing results. All documentation must accompany the initial lodgement of the NOI for the consignment to be assessed by the department. The NOI and supporting documentation must be provided in full at least 10 working days before the intended date of export. Failure to lodge all documentation may result in significant delays in the approval process, or failure to approve a consignment for export. Please keep your original documents and present them at the tank inspection.
2. Approved reproductive material collection centres and teams
NB - In general terms, semen is collected in a collection centre; embryos and ova are collected by a team.
It is your responsibility to determine if department approval of a collection centre is required by the importing country before collecting any material for export. To do this, check the importing country’s requirements of the country to which you want to export.
If an importing country does NOT require reproductive material to be collected in a centre or by a team approved by the competent authority/government of Australia, and applies to you, go to point four. This applies for many exports of companion animal reproductive material.
If an importing country requires that reproductive material be collected in a centre or by a team approved by the competent authority/government of Australia, the material to be exported from Australia must be collected at a department approved collection centre or by an approved embryo collection team. This approval is required by most importing countries for reproductive material from livestock species (e.g. sheep, goats, cattle) and from horses and pigs.
3. Department approved collection centres and teams
If the importing country requires the collection centre or team to be approved by the department, there are two options available:
- Use a collection centre or team that is already approved
There are several semen collection centres and embryo collection teams already approved by the department, including facilities approved for specific markets and species.
Some countries will specifically approve certain collection centres or teams and only permit imports of reproductive material from those approved centres. You should confirm that the centre or team you intend to use is accredited for the country to which you intend to export. You should discuss this with the Semen Collection Centre Veterinarian or the Embryo Team Veterinarian.
It is your responsibility to ensure a collection centre or embryo collection team is approved by the department before collecting any material for export, and a list of approved centres and teams is provided on this website. This list only includes centres and teams that have given permission for their details to be published.
- Setting up an approved collection centre or team
If you want to obtain the department’s approval of a reproductive material collection centre or team you must be aware that assistance from a veterinarian trained in reproductive technology is essential for both set-up and ongoing operation.
It is vital that you are well versed in the health requirements of importing countries, including the approval standard required. There are three categories of approval standard:
- the importing country requires approval by the department, but does not further specify the standard of approval. The centre or team must either:
- Meet the minimum standards outlined in the current World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Code. This is the most common standard of approval (recommended) or
- Meet the minimum standards of another approval standard. This is less common and you should discuss this with us before you proceed.
- the importing country requires specific approval to its own standard (e.g. the European Union). The department can help you to obtain details of the standards that must be met. Some importing countries may also require physical inspection of centres or teams by their own officials. This is at the Australian exporter’s expense.
- importing country requires approval to an Australian domestic standard. This requirement is increasingly rare and if you are required to provide this approval you should discuss it with us before you proceed.
If you wish to establish a new department approved collection centre or team please contact us by email at Genetics
4. Notice of Intention to Export and supporting documentation
Complete a 'Notice of Intention to Export Animal Reproductive Material' and return by email, to Genetics. Ensure you include all the supporting documentation to allow us to assess your NOI. If you cannot email your NOI and supporting documentation call us on +61 3 8318 6700 to make alternative arrangements.
If an import permit is required, provide this with other supporting documentation when you submit your NOI. If the import permit is not in English you will need to supply a NAATI certified translated copy.
The Export Control (Animals) Order 2004 stipulates that the NOI must be received at least 10 working days before the donor animals enter quarantine/isolation, or if there is no requirement for isolation, 10 working days before the scheduled date of export. You must supply enough supporting documentation (including sourcing of eligible animals, testing and treatment schedules, and property health status declarations) to allow us to assess if the reproductive material intended for export meets the relevant importing country's requirements.
If sufficient information is provided, you will be advised by email that the NOI is approved. If there is inadequate information you will be advised of the reasons why and what else is required to proceed.
5. Make an appointment with the department for tank inspection and issue of official documentation
Once the Notice of Intention (NOI) has been approved, you must make an appointment with the regional office nearest to the port of export for the inspection of the material to be exported (tank inspection), and the issuance of the Health Certificate and Export Permit. Contact your nearest regional office.
At the tank inspection appointment you must present all original documentation. Your export tank will be inspected to confirm that it contains only the reproductive material eligible for export. It is your responsibility to provide handling expertise, fresh liquid nitrogen and all equipment required for this inspection. The viability of the tank and contents, and recharging of the tank, is also your responsibility.
When the tank inspection is successfully completed, the department's veterinary officer will apply an official seal to the tank and issue a Health Certificate and Export Permit for the consignment. The fee for issuing an Export Permit and Official Health Certificate is a time-based fee for service.
For full details of fees and Charges for Live Animal Exports, see the department’s charging guidelines.
The department offices are open Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays).
185 O’Riordan Street Mascot, 2020
Phone: 02 8334 7434
8 am to 12 pm & 1 to 3 pm
SE Region Animal Program
Mon – Fri 8.30 am to 12.30 pm.
Airport Administration Centre, Cairns International Airport 4870
Phone: 07 4030 7800
By prior arrangement
42-44 Qantas Drive
Phone: 07 3246 8731
8.30 am to 12 pm
Adelaide International Airport
Phone: 08 8201 6000
9 Fricker Road
Phone: 08 9334 1555
10.30 am to 12 pm
1 Pederson Road
Phone: 08 8920 7000
8 am to 4.20 pm