2021-12 - Congestion Busting Program – Plant Exports Management System updates

1 April 2021


This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to notify stakeholders of updates to the Plant Exports Management System (PEMS) to align with the Export Control Act 2020.

Summary of changes and key points

  • The Export Compliance Expiry Period field has been renamed Inspection Validity Period. PEMS will calculate all commodity and non-commodity validity periods, from the first date of the first time entry.
  • The downloadable inspection reports or Export Compliance Records have been renamed Inspection Records. These records have been updated to include references to the updated legislation.   The manual version of these forms can be found on the Plant Exports Operations Manual (PEOM) under the Documentation accordion.
    • A signature field is showing on inspection records but is blank – a signature is not required for PEMS records and this will be rectified at the next PEMS release
  • A Trade Description question has been added to containerised goods inspections and quality systems recognition inspections.
    • Select ‘Yes’ if a trade inspection has been physically applied to the goods.
    • Select ‘N/A’ if the product is bulk or if a trade description has not been physically applied to the goods.
    • Record whether a physically applied trade description complies with the policy in the relevant guideline and any specific importing-country requirements listed in Micor (and the protocol where applicable)
  • Bulk vessel approval can now be suspended in PEMS if the vessel is deemed to no longer meet the department’s requirements for loading. Suspension can be lifted/revoked after rectification, or bulk vessel approval can be revoked.
  • Refer to PEMS Authorised Officer user guide – Bulk Vessel Inspections for instructions on how to do this in PEMS.
  • Empty container approval can be revoked in PEMS in situations where the condition of the container has changed since approval was issued and the container is no longer suitable for loading.  Empty container approval can be revoked by Authorised Officers (AOs) who hold the following job functions
    • ECI3001 Export inspection of empty containers
    • PGG3001:1 Export inspection of prescribed grain and plant products: packaged
    • PGG3001:2: Export inspection of prescribed grain and plant products: bulk into containers
    • GSEP4001:1 Export inspection of prescribed grain and plant products protocol: packaged
    • GSEP4001:2 Export inspection of prescribed grain and plant products protocol: bulk into containers
    • HAS3001:1 Export inspection of hay and straw: packaged
    • HAS3001:2 Export inspection of hay and straw: bulk into containers
    • FOP3001:1 Export inspection of woodchips: packaged
    • FOP3001:2 Export inspection of woodchips: bulk into containers
    • FOP3002:1 Export inspection of logs: bulk into containers
    • FOP3002:3 Export inspection of logs: packaged
    • FOP3003:1 Export inspection of processed forest products: packaged
    • FOP3003:2 Export inspection of processed forest products: bulk into containers
    • RBC3001 Export inspection of raw baled cotton.
  • As per the Factsheet - Plant rules - overview of changes for authorised officers the Deed of Obligations has been removed from PEMS and replaced with terms and conditions of appointment, which all AOs must agree to.
    • For all existing AOs, the terms and conditions of appointment will appear as a pop-up box the first time you log in to PEMS after 28 March 2021. You must agree to the terms and conditions of appointment before you can continue to use PEMS.
    • For all new AOs, this will form part of the application process.   
  • From 28 March 2021, Calibration Certificates will only be provided electronically from PEMS.
    • Exporters will need to have access to PEMS to download calibration certificates relevant to their exports.
  • The following bugs have been identified as a result of the 28 March 2021 release and are being rectified as a matter of urgency. All other issues should be reported to the PEMS team.
    • Decimal points are causing issues in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox browsers – please use Internet Explorer as a work around until the next release
    • Overlapping script between some columns in the bulk into ship holds inspection record
    • Signature field showing on inspection records but is blank – a signature is not required for PEMS records and this will be removed at next release


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.

On 3 am AEDT 28 March 2021, Australia's export legislation changed. PEMS has been updated to align with the new legislation.

Further information about the legislation changes is available on the New plant export legislation webpage and notified through IAN 2021-08.

Further information about PEMS is available on the Plant Export Management System webpage and in  IANs 2020-78, 2020-65, 2020-60, 2020-57, 2020-19, 2019-392019-322019-202018-47 and 2018-55 .

AO responsibilities

All users of PEMS should clear their cache after each release to ensure they are using the latest version of PEMS, this will ensure that fewer issues are encountered.

All users of PEMS  should  familiarise themselves with what has changed and follow the updated inspection instructional material and PEMS user guides.

Contact information

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

For more information about PEMS system integration, please contact the PEMS Technical Support team.

David Ironside
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch

Last reviewed: 1 April 2021
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