2020-19 - Business Systems Program – Update for the mandatory use of the Plant Exports Management System (PEMS)

5 May 2020


This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to advise Authorised Officers about the mandatory use of PEMS and to update industry that work continues to integrate existing third-party plant exports software with PEMS, and the implications this has on the mandatory use of PEMS.

Summary of changes and key points

  • All authorised officers (AOs) must be registered in PEMS by the May 2020 deadline, regardless of whether they will use the system directly or use PEMS via system integration. More than 80% of AOs have already registered.
  • All exporters, and other industry stakeholders that currently provide supporting documentation for plant and plant product must register as PEMS users as soon as possible.
  • Due to revised security screening requirements for all department systems the release of the system integration for PEMS has been delayed.
  • It is anticipated that the system integration web services will be released in July 2020.
  • The department has completed work to allow integration of existing third-party plant exports software programs with PEMS, should they choose to do so.
  • Individual web services have been developed. There will be a staged approach to bring the users of these web services on board. It is expected that third party vendors should ready their system for integration by the following dates:
    • Empty container inspections – 31 July 2020
    • Containerised goods inspections – 31 August 2020
    • Quality system recognition inspections – 30 September 2020
    • Horticulture inspections – 30 November 2020
    • In-transit cold treatment calibrations – 30 November 2020
  • Successful testing has already occurred with a number of third-party software developers.
  • The PEMS Software Developers Guide is available for interested vendors/developers. If you would like a copy of the guide please contact the PEMS Technical Support team
  • Third party software providers should engage with the department as soon as possible to ensure any changes to their software are ready for exporter use from July 2020.


PEMS is an IT system that is used to capture and store information relating to the export of plants and plant products from Australia, including plant product export inspection, calibration results and transport units.

In May 2019, PEMS was made available to all plant export external AOs, exporters, EDI users and registered establishment executives, across Australia.

Businesses that use third party plant exports software programs are exempt from using PEMS until system integration work is completed.

Further information about PEMS is available on the Plant Export Management System webpage. Refer to IANs 2019-39, 2019-32, 2019-20, 2018-47 and 2018-55 for further background.

AO responsibilities

All AOs who will be using PEMS directly, must do so no later than 1 June 2020. Submission of manual (handwritten) inspection records and supporting documentation via email will not be accepted after 1 July 2020; only electronic records will be accepted. Electronic records can be provided directly through PEMS or through another system that will integrate with PEMS.

Video tutorials are available on LearnHub for all AOs. AO should view the video tutorials prior to using the system.

AOs that currently use an alternate system to create inspection records can continue to do so, until that system has completed the system integration process. Your vendor will advise when that system will be ready to exchange data with PEMS. You must be registered with PEMS to allow this data exchange to occur.

Exporter and EDI user responsibilities

All exporters, EDI users, agents and other industry stakeholders, who currently provide supporting documentation for plant and plant product inspections and/or calibrations, should register as a PEMS user as soon as possible and commence using it to provide these supporting documents to avoid delays in the authorisation process.

Exporters who currently use a third-party software program to record empty container, containerised goods or quality systems recognition inspections will need to check with their provider to ensure that they are preparing their system for integration with PEMS.

Contact information

If you have any questions regarding this IAN please email PEMS Administrator.

David Ironside
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch

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

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Please verify that you are not a robot.