2020-55 - Business Systems Program – Removal of paper export certificates to New Zealand

17 August 2020


This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to notify industry that the exchange of electronic phytosanitary certificates will commence on 31 August 2020 for exports to New Zealand.

Key points

  • The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will no longer issue paper phytosanitary certificates and extra certificates from the Export Documentation System (EXDOC) for grain and horticulture consignments being exported to New Zealand, effective 31 August 2020  
  • The department’s electronic certification system (e-Cert) is integrated with EXDOC, allowing the transmission of export certificate data to New Zealand.
  • Exporters or agents will be able to print ‘extracts’ of export certificates in order to satisfy commercial arrangements, where necessary. Refer to Attachment A for an example extract of a grain phytosanitary certificate.
  • This change will also impact all other grain and horticulture export certificates currently issued from the EXDOC system for New Zealand. Affected Electronic Data Interface (EDI) users will be provided with detailed information prior to commencement on how extra certificate information can be included on the phytosanitary certificate to New Zealand.
  • Where an export certificate is not currently issued through EXDOC (for example, non-GMO certification) there will be no change to current process. These certificates will continue to be issued as manual paper certificates.


Document Pages File size
Attachment A: Extract of a grain phytosanitary certificate PDFWord Icon 1 17 KB
Attachment A: Extract of a grain phytosanitary certificate DOCXWord Icon 1 72 KB

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


  • e-Cert is an electronic government to government system designed to exchange export certificates for traded food and agricultural commodities. The system generates an electronic message in place of the current paper certificates issued by the exporting country to the importing country to confirm food safety, animal and plant health. More information on e-Cert can be found on the department’s website.
  • The department recently negotiated the acceptance of electronic certification through e-Cert with New Zealand.
  • The removal of paper export certificates for New Zealand was fast tracked to ease the current challenges faced during COVID-19.  
  • The acceptance of electronic certification will result in the removal of paper export certificates for consignments of grain and/or horticulture commodities to New Zealand.
  • In place of paper export certificates, all export certificate data will be electronically transmitted between Australia and New Zealand.
  • 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.
  • A similar arrangement was successfully implemented with the Republic of Philippines for grain and horticulture commodities on 1 March 2019.

Exporters responsibilities

Australian exporters should discuss with their relevant importers the removal of paper export certificates including extra certificates issued from EXDOC for exports of grain and horticulture consignments to New Zealand.

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: 18 August 2020
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