European Union: Non-Prescribed Goods: Health Certificate Arrangements During COVID-19 (2020-04)

Date of issue: 24 March 2020

Date of effect: Immediate


  • Industries—Industry bodies – AHBIC, AFGC
  • Licensed exporter
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment—Central and Regional offices


This Market Access Advice provides information on the recent decision from the European Commission (EC) to accept scanned copies of export certificates in cases where it is not possible to present the original certificate with the consignment.

This advice applies to all commodities (meat, meat by-products, hides and skins, dairy, seafood, eggs and non-prescribed goods)

Summary of key points

This decision is in response to the severe restrictions on air transport that are affecting courier services and is only intended to apply in the current COVID-19 situation. This is not a permanent change to the European Union requirements.

The original certificate must still be sent to the relevant Border Control Post as soon as technically feasible, noting that this might not be possible until current movement restrictions cease.

The scanned copy of the original certificate must be sent by email from the department directly to the relevant Border Control Post.

The department is currently exploring options to add a scanning and sending process for all certificates to the European Union. This advice will be updated when the process to be followed has been determined.

Please note that this does not affect existing EU regulations that require that all certificates should be issued and signed prior to the product leaving Australia and that replacement certificates may only be issued in cases of obvious simple administrative errors or when the original is damaged or lost.

Further information

Contact if you have any queries.

The information provided in this advice is current at the time of writing and is intended for use as guidance only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. The Commonwealth endeavours to keep information current and accurate, however, it may be subject to change without notice. Exporters are encouraged to verify these details with their importers prior to undertaking production/exports. The Commonwealth will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on information contained in this notice.

Last reviewed: 24 March 2020
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