2020-20 - Horticulture Exports Program – In-transit cold treatment certification requirements for citrus exports to Japan in 2020

5 May 2020


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 in 2020.

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.
  • Containers must be sealed with an Australian Government bullet seal (IAN 2019-21)
  • 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 consignments 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) 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 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 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 citrus exported to Japan must comply with the standards stipulated in the protocol agreements between Australia and Japan.

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

Plant export inspection AO responsibilities

Exporter 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 company responsibilities

Shipping companies must meet the following documentation requirements:

  • Submit complete raw data downloads to the ASG (NDH).
  • Where issues/discrepancies arise relating to temperature data, a reason must be provided at the time data is submitted for assessment.
  • Data downloads must include all readings at the time of sealing the container
  • 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.
  • A list of the container numbers for which data is being submitted must be included within the body of the email.
  • 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 calibration issues, include “ITCT Japan – [RFP number, Container number] – Calibration record”, in the email subject line.

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 of the phytosanitary certificate, calibration certificate and endorsed treatment temperature data to the Australian Embassy in Japan for presentation to MAFF.
  • ASG 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.

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 Horticulture Exports.

David Ironside
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch

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