Requirements for dairy exporters

​If you are planning to export dairy products from Australia, you will need to understand your obligations under the Export Control Act 1982 and associated legislation and be aware of all importing country requirements.

When shipping your goods out of Australia you may be required to register as an exporter with us. This will depend on how your goods are defined under the Export Control Act (prescribed or non-prescribed).

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

Importing country requirements

All applicable importing country requirements must be met before you can export dairy goods from Australia.

Some countries set additional documentation and registration conditions for goods imported to their country. For example:

Check our Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) for any conditions relating to your goods.

Register as an exporter

Before exporting prescribed dairy products, you must be registered with us. Registration requirements vary and depend on your specific role in the exporting process.

You can:

Export using registered establishments

All prescribed goods exported from Australia must be sourced from, processed in and stored in export registered establishments.

Goods dispatched from the manufacturer must only be moved to another export registered establishment (unless the good are being shipped directly to the wharf or airport terminal).

Exporters are responsible for making sure that all establishments used to prepare and or store goods for export are registered with us for the particular products being shipped.

Requesting an export permit

Before exporting prescribed dairy products, you will need to make a Request for Permit (RFP) using EXDOC.

As part of the RFP, you will need to confirm that you have:

  • a Declaration of Compliance for each of the products being exported, which confirms the eligibility of goods for export
  • any additional importing country documentation or product test results
  • transfer declaration, which is required each time a product is moved between registered establishments.

The manufacturer is responsible for providing you with the Declaration of Compliance and may provide evidence that the goods meet any specific importing country requirement. If evidence of importing country compliance is not available from the manufacturer then as the exporter you will need to verify how this requirement is met.

After an RFP is approved you will be issued with an export permit, which is required for all shipments leaving Australia. You will also be issued with a health certificate, if required by your importing country.

Fees and charges apply to requests for export permits and health certificates.

Classifying your goods

When you lodge your RFP, you will need to include certain details, including but not limited to:

  • product type, example milk, butter, cheese, infant formula
  • cut code used to identify your goods and matching the product type
  • Australian Harmonised Export Commodity Codes (AHECCs) for your product, which is linked to both the product type and cut code.

Check which codes you need to use when requesting an export permit.

AHECCs are used to classify internationally traded goods as they enter and leave the country. AHECCs are used by us to instruct the Department of Immigration and Border Protection when specific goods are required to be accompanied by an export permit before entering the wharf or airport and being cleared for export.


Export registration is not required for goods:

  • exported to New Zealand
  • legally imported into Australia, which have not been further processed or repacked before re-export
  • that are non-prescribed under export legislation and there are no registration requirements imposed by the importing country. Some countries including China and the EU still require registration and certification for some non-prescribed goods
  • less than 10kg per consignment, however some countries, including the EU require us to provide certification to clear the goods regardless of quantity.

Check importing country requirements before you export any goods that may fall under these exceptions.

You should always check with your importer before you export, to see if they have any further requirements for your product.

Further information

A fact sheet answering common questions asked by dairy exporters is available for download.




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