2019-13 - Horticulture Exports Program – In-transit cold treatment certification requirements for 2019 Japan table grapes exports

​18 March 2019


This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to advise industry of the in-transit cold treatment (ITCT) certification requirements for the export of table grapes to Japan in 2019.

Summary of changes and key points

Exporters, shipping companies and freight forwarders must consider the following when exporting ITCT table grape consignments to Japan:

  • ITCT must start in Australia and finish prior to arrival in Japan.
  • The Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) will reject consignments that require the continuation of cold treatment in Japan.
  • Plant export inspection Authorised Officers (AOs) and exporters must be aware of shipment durations and ensure that the chosen treatment schedule will be completed prior to arrival in Japan.
  • ITCT consignments with multiple time gaps, or time gaps greater than four hours, may be rejected by MAFF.
  • If there are any data issues that arise during treatment, a written explanation of the issue must be sent to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ Assessment Services Group (ASG) Plant Exports National Documentation Hub for consideration.
  • If more than one container is included on a phytosanitary certificate, it is preferable that the same ITCT schedule applies to all containers to avoid delays during certification. The phytosanitary certificate will not be issued until all containers have been processed.
  • The Request for Permit (RFP) must have the print indicator set to Manual (M), the print location as ME3 and the treatment details must be left blank.
  • Remote printing of certificates is not permitted and certificates will not be issued until the treatment details have been entered into the RFP by an ASG officer following assessment of the data.
  • All time recordings must be in 24 hour clock style (for example, 13:00).


All table grapes exported to Japan must comply with the standards stipulated in the protocol agreements between Australia and Japan.

The work plan and protocols can be found in the ‘Documents’ section on the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) Plants website.

Exporters, shipping companies and ASG responsibilities

Exporters and shipping companies requesting ITCT certification for table grapes to Japan must meet the following documentation requirements:

  • Documentation and data downloads must be sent to the Plant Exports National Documentation Hub.
  • Data downloads must include all readings at the time of sealing of the container.
  • Shipping companies must email a weekly ‘pre-alert/vessel summary report’ by Close of Business on each Thursday, to the Plant Exports National Documentation Hub. This summary report must include the estimated date of vessel arrival, container details and the approximate date of when the data downloads will be sent for assessment.
  • The Plant Exports National Documentation Hub will assess ITCT data on the same day if it is received by 12:00 pm. Any data arriving after 12:00 pm will be assessed the next business day.
  • Emails to the Plant Exports National Documentation Hub must state in the subject line, one of the following options:
Email TypeRequired Email Subject Title
Raw treatment data‘ITCT Japan – [Vessel name] – Completed CT containers’
Pre-alert/vessel summary report‘ITCT Japan – [Vessel name] – Vessel summary report’
Consignment issues‘ITCT Japan – [RFP number, Container number] – Consignment issue’
Calibration records‘ITCT Japan – [RFP number, Container number] – Calibration record’

The Plant Exports National Documentation Hub is responsible for processing and endorsing treatment temperature data as well as emailing copies and posting originals of the phytosanitary certificate, calibration certificate and endorsed treatment temperature data to the Australian Embassy in Japan for presentation to MAFF.

Contact information

If you have any questions regarding consignments shipped to Japan under ITCT or any issues with the phytosanitary and/or calibration certificate that have been endorsed by the department, please email the Plant Exports National Documentation Hub and include “ITCT Japan” in the subject line.

If you have any questions regarding this IAN, please email the Horticulture Export Program.

David Ironside
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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