2021-03 - Export Control Act 2020 - Changes to export certificates for non-prescribed goods

3 March 2021


Document Pages File size
Application for a government export certificate for non-prescribed goods example PDF  4 6.8 MB
Attachment 1: Attachment for the application form for a government export certificate for non-prescribed goods - description of additional goods and manufacturing establishments example PDF  3 211 KB

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This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to provide guidance to industries and exporters about changes to export certificates for non-prescribed goods (NPGs) under the new Export Control Act 2020, including a new form for manual applications for NPG export certificates.

Key points

From 28 March 2021, Australia’s agricultural, fishery, forestry and food exports will be regulated under the Export Control Act 2020 and the Export Control Rules.

The Act defines prescribed goods. Prescribed goods are goods that are regulated by the Act and the Rules. The Rules list which goods are prescribed goods. All other goods are non-prescribed goods.

What is not changing?

The department is still able to issue export certificates for NPGs if one is required by the importing country.

Applications for an NPG export certificate can still be made via EXDOC (the department’s electronic export documentation system) or via a manual application form (note, the form has been updated – see below) for manual certificate.

An export certificate is an official document issued by the department containing details about the product being exported. The role of the certificate is to confirm to the importing country authorities that the goods in the consignment have met specified requirements. The certificate is signed by either a veterinary officer or authorised officer depending on the importing country requirements.

  • Where known, importing country requirements are outlined in the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (Micor) database. Not all products to all markets can be found in Micor. In such cases, exporters should obtain the importing country requirements from importer/customer, or if needed the importing country authorities.
  • It is the exporter’s responsibility to check their products meet the importing country requirements. This should be done well in advance of any planned shipments, as failing to meet importing country requirements may result in products being detained or rejected at the exporter’s commercial risk.

What is changing?

New manual application form for an NPG export certificates

Currently, this application must be made in accordance with part 8.05 of the Export Control (Prescribed Goods – General) Order 2005. Under new legislation an application for an NPG export certificate must be made in accordance with Section 65 of the Export Control Act 2020.

Exporters and establishments should note the following:

  • An exporter may apply for an export certificate for NPGs via EXDOC or the approved manual application form (the new form will be available on the department’s website from 28 March 2021)
  • When applying for an NPG export certificate via the manual application form the application must be completed in full. If the application has not been completed in full at the time of submission, legally the application is taken not to have been made.
  • For exporters using manual NPG export certificates:
    • The new manual application form must be used from 28 March 2021.
    • An application form must be received for each consignment, even if the product has been exported to the same market previously.
  • Instructions on how to complete an application for an NPG certificate are incorporated within EXDOC. Guidance on how to complete the new manual application form can be found at Application for a government export certificate for non-prescribed goods example PDF.

Minor changes to the look and feel of NPG export certificates

All export certification, including NPG export certificates, issued by the department will be required to be updated as part of the implementation of Australia’s new export legislation. More information is available on the department’s website.

Any references to the year of the Export Control Act on all certificates will be removed. Any references to the Act will now appear as the ‘Export Control Act’, replacing Export Control Act 1982. Any reference to ‘Regulations’ or ‘Orders’ within the declaration section of the signatory box will also be removed.

Branding that references department names beneath the crest, will be updated to state ‘Australian Government’. This update will protect Australian certification against future name changes to the department.

The signature of the Chief Veterinary Officer will be removed from all electronically issued export certificates, including those for NPGs (wool, inedible meat products and skins and hides). This will be replaced with a signature from the National Veterinary Technical Manager, Dr Stewart Lowden, who has oversight of the export systems in accordance with OIE and Codex guidance on certification arrangements.

Australia’s updated certificates will be released during March 2021. Throughout this time, there will be a transition period where old and new certificates may be seen.

The changes do not affect the assurances provided by the department’s regulatory controls over exports, or the information previously agreed regarding the consignment details described on the certificate (agreed certificate attestations).

To minimise potential disruptions at the border, the department has advised trading partners of these changes.

Exporters and establishments should note the following:

  • Certificates referencing the Export Control Act 1982 cannot be issued when the new export legislation commences on 28 March 2021.
  • Where exporters possess certificate templates these may no longer be accepted.

Contact information

If you have any questions regarding this IAN please email NPGExports@awe.gov.au  

Deb Langford
Assistant Secretary
Residues and Food Exports Branch
Exports and Veterinary Services Division
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment 

Last reviewed: 21 June 2021
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