2019-35 - Horticulture Exports Program – In-transit cold treatment certification requirements for citrus exports to Japan in 2019


The purpose of this Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to advise industry of the in-transit cold treatment (ITCT) certification requirements, for the export of citrus to Japan.

Summary of changes and key points

Exporters, shipping companies, freight forwarders and plant export Authorised Officers (AOs) must consider the following when exporting ITCT citrus 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.
  • Exporters must be aware of shipment durations and ensure that the chosen treatment schedule will be completed prior to arrival in Japan.
  • ITCT data with multiple time gaps, or time gaps greater than four hours, may be rejected by MAFF.
  • Where issues arise relating to the treatment process and assessment of ITCT data, a written explanation of the issue should be sent to the department’s Assessment Services Group (ASG) Plant Exports National Documentation Hub (NDH).
  • 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 the ITCT data for all containers has been assessed.
  • The Request for Permit (RFP) must have the print indicator set to Manual (M), the print location must be set 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.
  • The new policy regarding bolt seals commenced 1 August, 2019 (please see IAN 2019-21).


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

The citrus protocol and work plan are available in the ‘Documents’ section of the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR). To access these documents, you must be a registered MICoR Plant user.

Plant export inspection AO responsibilities

Exporters responsibilities

Exporters must meet the following documentation requirements:

  • Exporters must notify the ASG (NDH) via email, that their calibration certificate and supporting documentation are available for verification in PEMS at the time of requesting their RFP authorisation.
  • If the ITCT has not been captured in PEMS, the exporter must submit a completed certificate of loading and calibration record for an in-transit cold treatment along with supporting documentation to the ASG (NDH) via email at the time of requesting their RFP authorisation.
  • Further information about PEMS can be found on the department’s website.  

Shipping companies responsibilities

Shipping companies must meet the following documentation requirements:

  • Submit complete raw data downloads to the ASG (NDH).
  • Email a weekly ‘pre-alert/vessel summary report’ by close of business each Thursday, to the ASG (NDH). 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.

ASG responsibilities

ASG officers must meet the following requirements:

  • ASG (NDH) is responsible for assessing 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.

Requirements for emailing the ASG NDH

ITCT data will be assessed by ASG (NDH) on the same day if it is received before 12:00 pm. Any data arriving after 12:00 pm will be assessed the next business day.

Emails to the ASG (NDH) must state in the subject line one of the following options:

  • For raw treatment data, include “ITCT Japan – [Vessel name] – Completed CT containers”, in the email subject line.
  • For pre-alert/vessel summary reports, include “ITCT Japan – [Vessel name] – Vessel summary report”, in the email subject line.
  • For consignment issues, include “ITCT Japan – [RFP number, Container number] – Consignment issue”, in the email subject line.
  • For requesting assessment and RFP authorisation of a Japan ITCT consignment, include “Authorisation RFP <Insert Number> - Horticulture; Date of Departure; Sea” and attach all relevant export documentation to the email.
  • If the AO has recorded their inspection in PEMS, then specify ‘Refer to PEMS for inspection, calibration and supporting documentation’ in the body of email.

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 ASG (NDH) and include “ITCT Japan” in the subject line.

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

David Ironside
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

Please verify that you are not a robot.