2019-30 - Business Systems Program – Update on removal of paper phytosanitary certificates for export to the Philippines

11 July 2019


This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to notify industry that the exchange of electronic phytosanitary certificates with the Republic of the Philippines will commence on 6 August 2019.

Summary of changes and key points

  • The Department of Agriculture will no longer issue paper export certificates (including phytosanitary certificates) from the Export Documentation System (EXDOC) for grain and horticulture consignments being exported to the Philippines, effective 6 August 2019.
  • The department’s electronic certification system (e-Cert) is integrated with EXDOC, allowing the transmission of export certificate data to the Philippines without any other changes to export processes for grain and horticulture commodities.
  • Exporters and their agents will be able to print ‘extracts’ of export certificates 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 the EXDOC system (for example, non-GMO certification), there will be no change to the current process. These certificates will continue to be issued as paper certificates.


DocumentPagesFile size
Attachment A - Extract of a grain phytosanitary certificate PDF117 KB
Attachment A - Extract of a grain phytosanitary certificate DOCX172 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.


  • e-Cert is an electronic government to government system designed to exchange export certificates for traded food and agricultural commodities. 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.
  • The department advised industry of the removal of paper export certificates with the Philippines in IAN 2019-07. Philippines were unable to proceed with the original implementation date of 1 March 2019, so it was delayed as outlined in IAN 2019-12.
  • The department has since worked with the Philippines on a revised implementation date of 6 August 2019 for the removal of paper export certificates. 

Exporter responsibilities

Australian exporters should discuss with their relevant importers, the removal of paper export certificates issued from EXDOC for the export of grain and 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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