2019-07 - Business Systems Program – Removal of paper phytosanitary certificates for exports to the Philippines

30 January 2019


This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to notify industry that the exchange of electronic export certificates (including phytosanitary certificates) between Australia and the Republic of the Philippines will commence 1 March 2019.

Summary of changes and key points

  • The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will no longer issue paper export certificates (including phytosanitary certificates) from the Export Documentation System (EXDOC) for grain and horticulture consignments exported to the Philippines, effective 1 March 2019. 
  • The department’s electronic certification system (e-Cert) is integrated with EXDOC and will instead allow the transmission of export certificate data to the Philippines without any other changes to export processes for grain and/or horticulture commodities.
  • Exporters or agents will be able to print ‘extracts’ of export certificates from EXDOC in order to satisfy commercial arrangements, where necessary. Refer to Attachment A for a draft extract of a grain phytosanitary certificate. Please note this is subject to change prior to finalisation.
  • Where an export certificate is not currently issued through EXDOC (for example, non-GMO certification), there will be no change to current process. These certificates will continue to be issued as paper certificates.


DocumentPagesFile size
Attachment A - Extract of a grain phytosanitary certificate PDF 1333 KB
Attachment A - Extract of a grain phytosanitary certificate DOCX 166 KB

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  • On 28 November 2018, the Department of Agriculture of the Republic of the Philippines and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of the Commonwealth of Australia signed an agreement to commence the electronic exchange of export certificates.
  • The agreement will result in the removal of paper export certificates for consignments of edible meat and dairy, grain and horticulture commodities to the Philippines.
  • In place of paper export certificates, all export certificate data will be electronically transmitted between the two countries.
  • e-Cert is an electronic government to government system designed to exchange export certificates for traded food and agricultural commodities. The system generates an electronic message in place of the current paper certificate issued by the exporting country to the importing country; to confirm food safety, animal and plant health. More information on e-Cert can be found on the department’s website.
  • There is a global drive to move towards electronic certification as it simplifies and harmonises the import and export process where government certification is required.

Exporter responsibilities

Australian exporters should discuss with their relevant importers, the removal of paper export certificates issued from EXDOC for exports of grain and/or horticulture consignments to the Philippines.

Contact information

If you have any questions regarding this IAN please email EXDOC Plant Programs.

David Ironside
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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