2021-24 - Horticulture Exports Program – In-transit cold treatment certification requirements for citrus exports to Japan in 2021

17 May 2021


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 2021.

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

  • Containers must be sealed with an Australian Government bullet seal.
  • 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 consignments with multiple time gaps, or time gaps greater than four hours, will 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) 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).
  • Assessment Services Group (ASG) will process lodgements within 3 business days for sea freight.

    Note: Times are based on receipt of complete and accurate documentation supplied at time of lodging.


All citrus exported to Japan must comply with the standards stipulated in the protocol 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 notify ASG via email, that their calibration certificate and supporting documentation are available for verification in PEMS at the time of requesting their RFP authorisation.

Shipping company responsibilities

Shipping companies must meet the following documentation requirements:

  • Submit complete raw data downloads to ASG.
  • 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 ASG. 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 ASG 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 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 business 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 this IAN please email Horticulture Exports.

David Ironside
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch

Last reviewed: 17 May 2021
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