Changes to export stamps and seals used to certify agricultural commodities

​​From 20 November 2016, Australia is changing the stamps, physical seals and carton seals used by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to certify Australian agricultural products for export.

There are no changes to the roles, functions or integrity of Australia’s export certification system.

All trading partners have been informed of our changes to the appearance of stamps and seals. We have advised trading partners there will be a transition period.

During this time, port officials in overseas countries will see a combination of existing and new stamps and seals, until all consignments using the existing stamps and seals have cleared import inspection.

Managing the change

Australian exporters are being asked to inform their importers of the forthcoming changes to stamps and seals, as an additional measure to ensure that trade is not disrupted.

Export certificates

Changes to stamps and seals on export certificates include:

  • all paper-based government certificates, including halal certificates, issued from 20 November 2016 will bear the new ‘Australian Government Agriculture’ official mark
  • consignments with paper-based certificates issued before 20 November 2016 will bear the ‘Department of Agriculture Fisheries & Forestry’ official mark

Border officials will see both the existing stamp and the new stamp stamps on paper certificates from 20 November 2016 until all consignments in transit have cleared import inspection.

All other features of the paper-based certificates will remain the same. There will be no visible change to any electronic certificates exchanged via eCert.

Existing official stamp on left, new official stamp on right
The existing official mark is a circle with the coat of arms in the centre and Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry printed around the inside edge of the circle.

Security seals on containers

Changes to security seals on containers include:

  • all official security seals applied to export containers from 20 November 2016 will have a new appearance, and bear the words ‘Australian Government’
  • consignments in transit sealed before 20 November 2016 will use the existing seals.

As imports arrive by sea and by air freight, there will be a period of time where goods will arrive bearing the existing and new seals until all consignments in transit have cleared import inspection.

Existing security seals
A metal strap seal with a plain metal locking mechanism on one end.
A blue bolt seal with the words DAFFA Australia printed on the larger end. Below is a green bolt seal with the words DAFFA Australia printed on the larger end.
New security seals
A metal strap seal with a plastic locking mechanism on one end with Australian Government printed on it.
A blue bolt seal with Australian Government printed on the larger end. Below it is a green bolt seal with Australian Government printed on the larger end.

Carton seals

New carton seals will include a manufacturer’s code and a unique sequential identifier.

Carton seals will change for meat exports to:

  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Canada
  • European Union (EU)
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Norway
  • Russia
  • Switzerland.

Timing of carton seal changes will be:

  • new seals and reseals are only being printed and applied as the stock of old seals is depleted
  • after 1 April 2017, only seals with the new design will be applied to cartons
  • industry have two years (until 31 March 2019) to export stock with carton seals of the old design.
Existing design and the new design of the carton seal
Oblong seal with the coat of arms and the words 'Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry' and 'Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service'.Oblong seal with the coat of arms and the words 'Australian Government Agriculture'.
Existing design and the new design of the carton reseal
Oblong seal with the coat of arms and the words 'Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry', 'Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service' and Opened for examination and resealed by officers of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service'.Oblong seal with the coat of arms and the words 'Australian Government Agriculture' and 'Opened for inspection and resealed by Australian Government officials'.

Further information

If you have any questions about the changes to export seals and stamps, you can email the Official Marks Team​.

For more information check the Meat Notice 2016-01: Changes to Part 13 of the Export Control (Prescribed Goods - General) Order 2005.