Plant Exports Management System (PEMS)

​​​PEMS is an IT system that is used by the Department of Agriculture, to capture and store information relating to the export of plants and plant products from Australia; including plant export Authorised Officer (AO) inspection and calibration results for product and transport units.

Previously, PEMS only allowed departmental plant export AOs to enter and submit inspection results and any supporting documentation.

In November 2018, the department made PEMS available to industry. External AOs in South Australia and Tasmania were involved in a pilot implementation and have been using PEMS to conduct a variety of grain and horticulture inspections.

Following the positive feedback received by users in the pilot, the department is now pleased to announce that PEMS is available for use by all external AOs and clients throughout Australia.

The availability of PEMS for industry aims to streamline the plant export inspection documentation process for clients and external AOs, by reducing the need for manual submission of inspection and In-transit cold treatment (ITCT) calibration documentation.

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What is PEMS and how will it help me?

  • allows inspection AOs to enter and submit inspection and ITCT calibration records, and any supporting documentation, to the department.
  • allows inspection AOs to reactivate their own records to correct minor errors.
  • allows exporters and EDI users to view inspection and ITCT calibration records associated with their Request For Permits (RFPs), and upload supporting documentation directly into the system, post-inspection.
  • allows export registered establishments to view and download records for all inspections and ITCT calibrations conducted at their establishment.
  • centralises and stores all plant export inspection and ITCT calibration records, and supporting documentation, making record keeping easier and making accessing these records faster.
  • automatically validates AO job functions, and inspection and ITCT calibration data.
  • automatically calculates inspection and ITCT calibration expiration dates.
  • automatically generates and issues an invoice to the client for internal AO services
  • works on a range of devices including desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices (such as a tablet or iPad) (see What equipment do I need to use PEMS? for more information).
  • includes an offline mode so AOs can record inspection and ITCT calibration results even when there is no internet/network connection at the inspection location.
  • has a user-friendly interface and helpful automated prompts making the system easy to use.
  • is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How do I access and register for PEMS?

Clients

Clients can register for access to PEMS at any time. See factsheet How to register for PEMS for more information.

Once registered, if the AO has used PEMS to record the inspection results:

  • exporters/EDI users with access to PEMS will be able to view their RFPs in the system and use it to upload any additional supporting documentation (post-inspection)—rather than submitting these to the department’s Assessment Services Group (ASG) National Documentation Hub via email.
  • export registered establishments with access to PEMS will be able to view and download inspection records and calibration reports from all inspections/calibrations conducted at their establishment.

Note: When exporter users and EDI users request access under their relevant roles, they will be prompted to provide either their exporter number or EDI user number.

Authorised Officers

External AOs can now register for access to PEMS at any time. There is no formal face–to-face training and assessment required for PEMS users.

Once registered, AOs should submit their inspection and ITCT calibration records in PEMS.

Note: ITCT calibration records can only be recorded in PEMS where PEMS has been used to record the commodity inspection records.

PEMS is easy and intuitive to use, however AOs should familiarise themselves with the user guides, and view the video tutorials, prior to registration to ensure they are confident in what is required.

The AO hotline is available for technical system support but is not able to provide step-by-step instructions and should not be relied upon as an instructional resource.

Once registered, AOs should check their PEMS profile (including any job functions) is working and accurate prior to undertaking any work in the system.

If there are any issues with your PEMS profile please contact Plant Export Training.

Businesses that use their own electronic export systems

Where a client or AO has an electronic system that is used to record inspections, ITCT calibrations and/or generate export documentation (including an Export Compliance Record (ECR)), then this system may be able to integrate with PEMS.  This means that those clients can continue to use their existing system and the data captured in these systems will be extracted into PEMS via system integration. The client will still need to register as a PEMS user to allow the data transfer.

System integration specifications are currently available for third party software providers.

It is expected that system integration functionality will be available in the live environment from December 2019. Please advise clients that would like more information about system integration to contact the PEMS team as soon as possible to ensure they are ready prior to May 2020.

Further information can be found in Industry Advice Notice 2019-39.

Businesses whose systems are not yet integrated with PEMS are encouraged to use PEMS if it is efficient to do so. However, where this would result in a duplication of work, businesses can continue to use their current system and submit records and additional documents to the department via email, until integration options are complete. Submission of records via email will not be accepted after the transitional period and all user will be expected to be using PEMS, either directly or via system integration, by May 2020.

Where a business has an electronic system that is used for one step in the export pathway (for example, a container tracking system) then documents generated by this system can be attached to the PEMS record to support the inspection and/or ITCT calibration process. However, the rest of the inspection should be completed in PEMS if it would have previously been completed manually.

What training is available?

The department will be conducting roadshows to showcase PEMS to clients and AOs. More information will be provided on this webpage and via Industry Advice Notices in due course. Please ensure you are subscribed to receive announcements and updates.

Authorised Officers

NEW Video tutorials are available and can be accessed through your LearnHub account. These short, step-by-step instructional videos show you how to use PEMS to complete your inspection and calibration records, and can be viewed as often as required. Watching the video tutorials is not mandatory, but is recommended for all users to familiarise themselves with the system.

The following video tutorials are available now:

  • Getting started in PEMS
  • PEMS Search functions
  • Using PEMS offline
  • Refreshing information from EXDOC
  • Assigning additional AOs to an inspection record
  • Reactivating an inspection
  • Cancelling or withdrawing an inspection
  • Adding attachments and correspondence in PEMS
  • Viewing records in PEMS

The following video tutorials are in development and will be released as they are completed:

  • Empty Container Inspection
  • Bulk Vessel Inspection
  • Horticulture
  • Calibrations (In Transit Cold Treatments)
  • Containerised Goods Inspection
  • Bulk Into Ship Hold
  • Mobile Bulk Loading
  • Quality Systems Recognition

Guidance material is also available (see What instructional material is available?).

Facilitated training is no longer required for external AOs, and will not be provided by the department.

Free online video tutorials are being developed for all users, these are expected to be available soon.

Clients

Training is not required for exporters, EDI users and export registered establishments. Guidance material is available (see What instructional material is available?).

What instructional material is available?

What types of export inspections does PEMS support?

PEMS supports inspections and calibrations for the following job functions:

  • plants and plant products, including for protocol markets and nursery products
  • empty bulk vessels and empty containers
  • calibration and loading of containers for ITCT
  • Quality Systems Recognition (QSR) inspections
  • Bulk Into Ship Holds (BISH) inspections
  • mobile bulk loading inspections.

The following are not currently supported by PEMS and should continue to be recorded manually:

  • on-shore cold treatment calibrations
  • re-export phytosanitary certification
  • Export Compliance Goods Storage inspection records
  • records for consignments inspected at regional department offices
  • mixed consignments of horticulture and grain product, such as fresh vegetables and dried herbs; and dried fruit and nut mixes.

AOs will only be able to complete inspection records in PEMS for plant export job functions that they are appointed for
If there are any issues with a PEMS profile or job functions please contact Plant Export Training or call 1800 851 305.

Do I still need to submit inspection records and documentation manually?

If an inspection or calibration has been recorded in PEMS, there is no requirement to email copies of the PEMS record or any supporting documents to the department. There is also no requirement to print and retain PEMS records, or keep copies of supporting documents that have been uploaded into PEMS.

Businesses using their own electronic system to record inspections and generate export documentation may be exempt from using PEMS until system integration is complete, in which case they will still need to submit their records and documents to the department manually. See Businesses that use their own electronic export systems.

Clients

Exporters nee​d to submit supporting documentation to the AO and the department at the required time in the export process, as per the applicable MICoR case and Reference: Plant Export documents and treatments checklist.

Submitting documents before and/or at the time of inspection

Supporting documents required prior to inspection should be submitted to the AO via email at the time of booking. Documents required at the time of inspection or ITCT calibration should be provided to the AO on the day. The AO will then validate the documents and either attach them to PEMS or submit copies to the department manually (only when whether manual processing is required).

AOs can attach a supporting document at any time during the inspection until the RFP is closed.

Submitting documents post-inspection

Where an AO is using PEMS, exporters who are also registered with PEMS should submit any additional post-inspection documentation to the department through the system, rather than submitting via email.

Exporters will still need to notify the ASG National Documentation Hub via email that their inspection and/or ITCT calibration records and supporting documents are available in PEMS, at the time of requesting RFP authorisation. Exporters will need to include ‘Refer to PEMS for inspection and supporting documentation’ in their email correspondence.

Where the AO does not use PEMS, the exporter will need to submit their documentation to the ASG National Documentation Hub via email as per the current process. This will only be acceptable during the transitional period. After May 2020 all inspection and ITCT calibration records will be required to be submitted via PEMS, either directly or via system integration, where the inspection type is available in PEMS.

For guidance in relation to requesting export certification please see Request export documents.

Submitting documents for the issuance of a calibration certificate for ITCT

Exporters will still need to notify the department via email that their calibration records and supporting documentation are available in PEMS, at the time of requesting their RFP authorisation. They will also need to still send a separate email to request the issuance of a certificate of calibration and loading for all countries (with the exception of Japan, USA and Indonesia).

Authorised Officers

Submitting documents and inspection records

Once AOs have been given access to PEMS, they should submit all plant export inspection and ITCT calibration records, and relevant supporting documents (such as import permits and pre-inspection treatment certificates) to the department through PEMS, for all available export inspection types (see What types of export inspections does PEMS support?).

Manual records will continue to be accepted via email during the transitional period, or where PEMS does not support particular plant export inspection/calibration records. After May 2020 all inspection and ITCT calibration records will be required to be submitted via PEMS, either directly or via system integration, where the inspection type is available in PEMS.

Manual records will also continue to be accepted via email during unplanned PEMS outages and planned maintenance shutdowns.

Signing inspection records

The department does not require AOs that submit inspection and ITCT calibration records through PEMS to sign the finalised record that can be downloaded for the client. This includes export compliance records, bulk vessel approval records and container approval records.

PEMS has in-built authentication when a user logs into PEMS and as a result, recognises the AO responsible for the inspection record. Due to this user authentication, submission of the inspection record through PEMS is construed as an official inspection record (see the Electronic Transactions Act 1999).

An AO may download and email or print a copy of the PEMS inspection record for the client’s records. These client copies may be signed by the relevant AO on the explicit request from the client.

What support services are available?

IT enquiries

For PEMS system or IT-related issues, email the PEMS Administrator or call 1800 851 305.

Registration or profile enquiries

For registration, access, job function or training and assessment issues please contact Plant Export Training or call 1800 851 305.

Process or system function enquiries

For process or system function issues please first refer to the relevant factsheets and instructional material (see What instructional material is available?) before contacting Plant Export Training or calling 1800 851 305.

What equipment do I need to use PEMS?

To use PEMS, you will need:

  • a desktop computer, laptop or other portable device (such as a tablet or iPad)
  • access to the internet or other network connection through the device
  • an internet browser on the device, such as Internet Explorer or Chrome.

PEMS includes an offline function to allow AOs to record inspection and ITCT calibration records when there is no internet or network connection, so access to the internet or a network connection is not required all the time.

Note: For more information on how to use PEMS offline to record inspection and ITCT calibration data, refer to the factsheet How to use PEMS offline and the Plant Exports Management System Authorised officer user guide.

Internet Explorer Compatibility View    

When operating PEMS through Internet Explorer, Compatibility View will impact on the view of the PEMS icon in the department’s self-service portal (the green leaf icon will not display).

You may be prompted by Internet Explorer to disable Compatibility View when opening PEMS. However, Compatibility View will not impact on the operation or look of the PEMS application itself. There is no requirement to disable Compatibility View to operate PEMS in Internet Explorer. You can proceed to enter PEMS by clicking the green square icon on the department’s self-service portal.

Coming soon to PEMS

Later in 2019, PEMS will be further upgraded and will include a number of enhancements, including:

  • Integration with client systems – there are a number of IT systems involved in the plant export pathway. PEMS will be able to integrate with some of these systems to provide better efficiency in plant export processes.
  • Automation of AO lifecycle management to allow the department to oversee the management of all AOs from application and throughout their appointment.

More information will be provided on this webpage and via Industry Advice Notices in due course. Please ensure you are subscribed to receive announcements and updates.



Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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