Meat Notice 2021-02 - Electronic Meat Transfer Certificates (eMTC)

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NSFS reference: 12.3

Issue date: 21 July 2021

Date of effect: Immediate

Review date: July 2023

Contact officers:

Adam Balcerak
Director Export Meat Program
02 6272 4955

Stewart Lowden
National Veterinary Technical Manager
07 3246 9002

Purpose

Export legislation requires the transfer of meat and meat product between establishments to be accompanied by a Meat Transfer Certificate (MTC), which can be either manual or electronic. This Meat Notice outlines the requirements for electronic systems that can produce electronic MTC (eMTC).

Scope

This notice applies to all export registered establishments that want to utilise electronically generated Meat Transfer Certificates (eMTC).

Use of the eMTC is voluntary.

Definitions

The following table defines terms used in this notice.

Term Definition
Approved Arrangement (AA) An arrangement approved by the department under the Export Control legislation.
Approved Islamic Organisation (AIO) An organisation approved by the Secretary or delegate in accordance with the requirements detailed in the Export Control Act and subordinate legislationfor the purposes of supervising the production and certification of halal meat for export.
Area Technical Manager (ATM) A departmental officer with veterinary qualifications who has responsibility for the supervision, technical performance, assessment and verification of technical standards and operations in a defined group of export meat establishments within a geographic area in a state or states.
Electronic Meat Transfer Certificate (eMTC) Electronic version of a Meat Transfer Certificate.
GS1 International organisation that develops and maintains standards for supply and demand chains across multiple sectors.
Meat Transfer Certificate (MTC) Means a meat transfer certificate which is the form approved by the secretary for use when export eligible meat and meat products are transferred between export registered establishments (Export Control (Meat and Meat Products) Rules, Section 5-38). This form may be electronic.

Background

The department recognises the benefit to industry both in terms of improved efficiency and integrity that an integrated, digital approach brings to the export supply chain. In recognition of these benefits, this notice articulates the requirements to enable industry to operate digitised MTC processes.

The department’s eCert system (EXDOC/NEXDOC) follows the UN/EDIFACT (United Nation’s standard for Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport).  Therefore, eMTC should also follow these rules.

Systems

5.1 eMTC content

Registered meat establishments wishing to use eMTC must amend their Approved Arrangement (AA) to incorporate the use of an eMTC system. This is a significant amendment and must be approved by the department prior to implementation.

The department will approve changes to AA for systems that meet the following criteria:

  • The message must be able to be viewed (on screen or as a paper representation) by the department in a format similar to the existing paper MTC and contain all the information currently required (see Attachment A).
  • The message structure and segments must follow the UN/EDIFACT standard and in particular the “EANCOM 2002 Syntax 3 (subset of UN/EDIFACT D.01B) despatch advice message and receiving message”. For further information on the UN/EDIFACT standard contact GS1 Australia.
  • The message carries the information required by the Export Control Act 2020 and subordinate legislation, being:
    • Export Control (Meat and Meat Products) Rules, (5-38),
    • Export Control (Poultry Meat and Poultry Meat Products) Rules, (5-31),
    • Export Control (Wild Game Meat and Wild Game Meat Products) Rules, (5-28)
    • Export Control (Rabbit and Ratite Meat and Rabbit and Ratite Meat Products) Rules (5-38)

Information and declarations relating to transferred prescribed meat or meat products - subsection 1, being:

  1. If a consignment of prescribed meat or meat products is transferred from a registered establishment (the transferring establishment) to another registered establishment (the receiving establishment), the following information and declarations must be given to the occupier of the receiving establishment
    1. a full description of the meat or meat products;
    2. information about storage conditions (that is, whether the meat or meat products are chilled, frozen or shelf-stable);
    3. the name, address and registration number of the transferring establishment;
    4. the date or dates when operations to prepare the meat or meat products (other than storing, handling or loading) were last carried out before the transfer;
    5. the quantity of meat or meat products in the consignment;
    6. if the meat or meat products are in packages—the number and kind of packages;
    7. the identification of the conveyance used to transport the meat or meat products;
    8. a description of any means of security applied to the meat or meat products;
    9. the name, address and registration number of the receiving establishment;
    10. if operations to prepare the meat or meat products were carried out to meet importing country requirements of one or more countries—the name of each country;
    11. a declaration stating that, at the date the declaration is made:
      1. the prescribed export conditions, and any other conditions that apply in relation to the meat or meat products under the Act, have been complied with; and
      2. importing country requirements relating to the meat or meat products are met;
    12. a declaration stating that all of the information given in relation to the consignment is true and complete.
  • The approved eMTC message format is to include the additional segments for recording:
    • the date(s) of slaughter as well as the slaughter establishment registration number.
    • the Approved Islamic Organisation (AIO) that performed halal.
    • market eligibility details. 
  • The eMTC system can be integrated into the plants existing computerised warehouse management system or can operate as a stand-alone system that users access remotely (i.e. web portal):

eMTC Distribution

  • The eMTC message must be uploaded and stored in a repository (e.g. web portal) when the load is assembled and despatched.
  • The message must be able to be downloaded by the receiving plant.
  • The message must be available in a form which can be viewed by the department on request.

eMTC Receipt

  • To reconcile the product transfer, the receiving establishment must endorse that the load has been received either satisfactorily or unsatisfactorily and a receipt message in the approved eMTC message format uploaded to the message repository.

eMTC – transfers between establishments

  • If both sending and receiving establishment have integrated eMTC into their warehouse management systems, the process of sending and receiving can be linked to existing business practices (i.e. automated).
  • Where an establishment is using eMTC and wants to send product to an establishment that is not using eMTC then the following options are available to them.
    • Use current paper MTC form or printed eMTC (Attachment A) and upload the eMTC message to the portal and self-receipt once the paper duplicate is returned: or
    • Use eMTC - the receiving establishment has access to the message repository (web portal).
      1. When the eMTC is sent to the repository an email alert is sent to the receiving establishment informing them that an eMTC is waiting
      2. The receiving establishment must be able to access the repository using a registered user id and password and be able to record the receipt/reconciliation within the repository.
  • Where a consignment is from an eMTC non-enabled establishment to an eMTC enabled establishment, the sending establishment can:
    • Use current paper MTC; or
    • The sending establishment accesses the repository using a registered user id and password and create from the MTC, an eMTC record.

eMTC – EU eligible loads

  • MICOR requires that “Departmental officers must countersign MTCs for EU eligible product."
  • The process for notifying the OPV/FSMA of the EU eligible load remains the same
  • For eMTC the following options will apply for EU loads:
    • Print the summary for each EU load and provide to the OPV who can sign it and file it for their record, or
    • Print a summary at the end of each working day of what was sent for the day and who to, which is also signed and filed. 
      • Note: The department has access to the detailed information about those EU eligible loads within the web portal which can be reconciled on a carton-by-carton basis.

Mixed systems

  • It is acceptable to use a mix of eMTC and paper MTC system to allow for the transfer of product between plants of various eMTC capabilities.
  • It would also be advisable to leave paper MTCs with the AA as a contingency

Testing before endorsement of amended Approved Arrangements

An establishment must operate their eMTC system in what is considered a “Test” mode for sufficient time and volume of transfers to provided evidence that the establishment’s eMTC system and the presented amended AA meets the requirements of this notice.  Once the department approves the amendments eMTC can operate in “production”.

Responsibilities

Establishment Management of sending and/or receiving plants must:

  1. Amend their AA to include the use of their implemented eMTC system to meet the requirement in this notice if they wish to utilise eMTC, or where there is a change to their meat transfer process. 
  2. Complete and submit an EX26b to seek approval of this significant amendment / addition to the AA.
  3. Ensure that their AA details how they will achieve and document the agreed format of meat transfer documentation between specific establishments i.e. eMTC users to non-eMTC users and vice versa.
  4. Conduct initial testing of their eMTC system by uploading test eMTC messages to ensure the system is fully functional and provide sufficient evidence for appraisal at the same time as their AA amendment application.
  5. Only use the eMTC system in production mode once written approval is received.

Departmental OPV/FSA will:

  1. Provide establishment management with a copy of this meat notice as soon as possible.
  2. Once approved, verify the functioning of the amended AA in accordance with the Meat Establishment Verification System.

Area Technical Manager (or Field Operations Manager for Tier 1 establishments) will:

  1. Review and approve AA amendments if appropriate, along with the ‘test’ eMTC evidence.
  2. Verify through audits that the occupier is complying with this meat notice.

Audit Assurance Group will:

  1. Review and approve AA amendments if appropriate, along with the ‘test’ eMTCs.
  2. Verify through audits that the occupier is complying with this meat notice.

State Regulatory Authority (Tier 1 establishments) will:

  1. Verify through audits that the occupier is complying with this meat notice.

Electronic platforms supporting eMTC

  • Establishments may choose or develop an eMTC system that meets the above mentioned eMTC criteria.
  • It is noted that industry has developed the "Meat Messaging" system as an online tool for the creation, sending, receiving, attestation statements and compliance declaration of meat products (carton, carcases, carcase portions, pallets, bulk packs and containers) GS1 EANCOM messages. The MeatMessgaging.com portal is a program reporting to the Australian Meat Industry Language and Standards Committee and is administered by AUS-MEAT Limited.
  • References to key data and information about eMTC messaging standards can be found at:

    Meat Messaging is based on EANCOM (UN/EDFACT) standard: https://www.meatmessaging.info/docs/desadv_2014.pdf to comply with global trade and regulatory requirements.
    XML format: https://www.meatmessaging.info/xml_email_format.asp
    JSON: https://www.meatmessaging.info/json_api_format.asp
    Meat Messaging documentation: www.meatmessaging.info/docs

Adam Balcerak
Director Export Meat Program

Last reviewed: 21 July 2021
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