European Union sheepmeat and goatmeat quotas

The department manages the European Union (EU) sheepmeat and goatmeat tariff rate quotas, which were put in place by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade:

  • Sheepmeat and goatmeat
  • Erga omnes.

Australian exporters can export specific quantities of eligible products to the EU at a zero tariff rate through these quotas.

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Sheepmeat and goatmeat quotas

Currently 19,186 tonnes of sheepmeat and goatmeat can be exported to the EU each year at a zero tariff rate.

Demand for access to this quota traditionally exceeds the amount of quota available and therefore the department implements an annual allocation process.

Key dates to remember

1 January—New quota year begins.
31 October—Last day for exporters to advise whether they will retain or return quota entitlement, and/or whether they wish to apply for additional entitlement.
Early November—Reallocation of returned quota; any uncommitted quota available on a first come, first served basis.
Mid-November—Exporters invited to apply for quota entitlements for following quota year.
Early December—Exporters notified of their quota entitlement for the following year.
31 December—Quota year ends.

Erga omnes quota

The 200-tonne erga omnes sheepmeat and goatmeat quota can be accessed by Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Uruguay, Chile, Norway, Greenland, Faeroes, Turkey and other WTO members not listed at a zero tariff rate. This quota is managed by the EU and access to it cannot be guaranteed even with an Australian Government quota certificate.


Current quota usage

The quota usage report shows the total quantity of quota held and shipped by Australia for the following commodities: EU high-quality beef, EU sheepmeat and US beef. The report is updated twice a week and at the end of each month.

The department does not provide data on erga omnes quota as it is an EU-managed global quota.

Check the current quota usage for EU sheepmeat and goatmeat.

Apply for an allocation of EU sheepmeat or goatmeat quota

Application forms are sent out to all licensed meat exporters prior to the start of the quota year. Forms must be submitted prior to the date listed on the application form.

The amount of EU sheepmeat and goatmeat quota to be allocated to each applicant is calculated using a formula that takes into account an individual exporter’s eligible EU and global shipments against the eligible EU and global shipments of all exporters for the previous year. Once allocations have been determined, each applicant is then notified of their quota allocation for the next quota year.

Apply for an EU sheepmeat or goatmeat quota certificate

To apply for an Australian Government Certificate of Origin (COO) certificate (quota certificate) for a consignment of sheepmeat/goatmeat, you must lodge a request for permit (RFP) through the department’s electronic documentation system, EXDOC.

Once your RFP has gone to ‘complete’ status in EXDOC, the data will go through to the Quota Unit on the next business day and a quota certificate will be printed. The original and 2 copies are mailed to you and a copy is kept by the Quota Unit.

If your COO needs to be altered in any way, you must notify the Quota Unit and a replacement certificate can be issued. For the replacement certificate to be issued, the original and the 2 copies must first be returned to the Quota Unit. Once received, the replacement can be mailed to you.

Airfreighting consignments

Airfreight consignments may require urgent documentation and the Quota Unit will endeavour to process these manually if requested.

If an airfreight certificate is required urgently, email the Quota Unit with RFP number of the consignment that requires a manual certificate. The email must be received by the Quota Unit no later than 2:00pm (Canberra time) for same-day processing. Processing of same day certificates cannot be guaranteed. Processing is dependent on staff availability and couriers.

When generated, the certificate will be sent to you by Express Post or couriered (if you have provided the Quota Unit with courier bags and consignment notes).

2020 European Union sheepmeat and goatmeat entitlement holders list (updated as of 02 November 2020)

This listing of current quota entitlement holders can be used by exporters to check which exporters hold quota, should they wish to approach another exporter for a transfer.


Transfer of entitlement and performance

The department keeps records of an exporter’s allocation and performance accounts.

We also keep records of an exporter’s quota meat exports and EU-accredited exports through the maintenance of 2 performance accounts, account D and account I.

Account D records quota meat shipments to the EU and is non-transferable.

Account I records shipments from EU-accredited establishments sent to all destinations excluding the EU (out of quota).

The performance calculated on Account I shipments can be transferred to another exporter (known as a performance transfer), effectively increasing the shipping history of the transferee. This can result in a larger quota allocation the following year.

Exporters are able to transfer both their allocation and account I performance between companies.

Allocation or entitlement holders who wish to transfer their existing quota can use the entitlement transfer form.
Exporters who wish to transfer their performance can use the request to transfer form.


The EU sheepmeat and goatmeat quota is underpinned by the Export Control (Sheepmeat and Goatmeat Export to the European Union Tariff Rate Quotas) Order 2019. Exporters should be familiar with this order.

Data collection

The Quota Unit collects and manages the data presented on this website for commercial and government use. The data comes from the RFPs received through EXDOC.

Contact us

For queries or assistance with the EU sheepmeat and goatmeat quotas, contact the Quota Unit:

Phone: 02 6272 4068
Email: Quota Admin

Last reviewed: 2 November 2020
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