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Exporting dairy products from Australia

​​​​​​​​​The export of dairy products from Australia is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, under the Export Control Act 1982 and associated legislation.

Regulation by us ensures continued market access and satisfies our trading partners that prescribed goods manufactured and exported from Australia are safe and comply with export legislation and specific importing country requirements.

If you are involved in the export supply chain, you will need to be aware of:

  • your obligations under export legislation
  • specific importing country requirements that you need to meet
  • any additional export requirements set by us.

​We can help you to understand the requirements for exporting your goods to overseas markets.

Read our step-by-step guide to exporting dairy products from Australia.

If you are a small-to-medium enterprise interested in manufacturing and/or exporting Australian dairy products, further information can be found on the Dairy Australia trade ready website.

Export legislation

Under export legislation dairy products, as with other foods are classified as either a prescribed or non-prescribed good.

Prescribed dairy goods includes any milk product obtained from a bovine (cow) intended for human consumption and where the major ingredient is dairy. Examples of prescribed dairy products include:

  • butter
  • cheese
  • cream
  • dairy based dips
  • milk
  • milk powder and milk powder blends (including infant formula, protein/whey powders)
  • yoghurt.

If you are planning to export prescribed goods from Australia, you will need to register with us as an exporter, and only use establishments that are registered for the products being exported.

Non-prescribed goods may include any product containing dairy:

  • obtained from a bovine (cow) for animal consumption or for human consumption where dairy is:
    • not the major ingredient (by weight or volume), or
    • the major ingredient but it is not considered like a class of prescribed dairy as listed above. An example of this would include ice-cream, cheese cake, custard.
  • from a non-bovine (cow) source, including sheep, goat, buffalo, camel
  • any dairy product destined for New Zealand.

If you are exporting non-prescribed goods, you do not need to register with us, but will still need to meet any specific importing country requirements. We advise that you confirm with your importer any particular documentation or certification requirements for entry into the destination country.

Check our Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR).

Exporters of prescribed dairy products

Before you begin exporting prescribed dairy products from Australia, you will need to:

Find out more about requirements of being a registered dairy exporter.

Export registered establishments

All prescribed dairy products intended for export must be prepared and stored in an establishment registered with us, this includes:

  • Australian dairy ingredient suppliers
  • freight forwarders
  • manufacturers
  • storage facilities and
  • any establishment where the prescribed goods will be stored and or loaded for export (excluding the wharf and airport terminal).

If you are an exporter, you can either use a facility that is already registered with us, or organise for your establishment to become export registered.

Register as an export establishment by:

Audits will also be conducted each year to make sure you are maintaining all processes documented in your approved arrangement.

Find out more about operating an export registered establishment.

Notices and advices

Industry advice notices and market access advices are released to notify dairy export industry of any changes including:

  • legislation
  • market access conditions
  • operational requirements.

See current industry notices and advices.

Resources for dairy exporters

Other government agencies and industry bodies are also involved in the regulation of dairy products for export and can help you become export ready.

If you need help, there are range of industry resources available for exporters and manufacturers of exported dairy products.