Approved arrangements for dairy, eggs and fish products export establishments

​​The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources​ has created this set of guidelines to assist those wishing to prepare dairy, egg and fish products in Australia for export, as well as those wishing to export the final products.​

This guideline identifies the requirements of an Approved Arrangement, which an establishment must have in place to be export registered.

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What is an Approved Arrangement?

An Approved Arrangement is a documented food safety management system, typically a manual, which describes how an establishment manages food safety and traceability. The Approved Arrangement must document how the establishment will comply with Australia’s export control legislation and importing country requirements.

An establishment must submit their Approved Arrangement to the department for assessment and approval. Once the department approves the arrangement, the establishment can become export registered.

Who needs an Approved Arrangement?

All export registered establishments including vessels involved in preparing, handling and storing dairy, egg and fish products destined for human consumption must have an Approved Arrangement.

What needs to be included in an Approved Arrangement?

An Approved Arrangement must address how the establishment will comply with Australia’s export control legislation and, in particular, the Export Control Orders.

Export Control Orders for milk, eggs and fish products are on the department’s website.

An Approved Arrangement documents the procedures, controls and records used to ensure that all export product prepared or stored by the establishment meets export legislation and importing country requirements.

In the Export Control Orders particular types of requirements are grouped together in schedules. Most establishments document their Approved Arrangement to correspond with these schedules:

  • registration
  • management of food safety and suitability
  • structural requirements
  • operational hygiene
  • preparation and transport
  • product standards
  • trade description
  • identification, tracing systems, integrity and transfer
  • export documentation.

Detailed checklists and self-assessment documents are available for anyone interested in becoming an export registered establishment. These documents explain each of the schedule topics in more detail and should be read in conjunction with the Export Control Orders.

Email the Dairy, Egg and Fish Export Programme for help on writing an Approved Arrangement.

How does the department assess an Approved Arrangement?

When an establishment requests to become export registered, they must have a completed Approved Arrangement available for assessment. The Approved Arrangement may be submitted to the department for in-office assessment or can be assessed on-site as part of the establishment’s initial registration inspection or initial audit.

Once the registration process has commenced, an authorised officer from the department will review the Approved Arrangement to ensure it addresses all requirements of export legislation. There is a for this service, outlined in the department’s charging guidelines.

Once the Approved Arrangement is adequate, the registration process will continue, including an audit of the physical location of the establishment and the Approved Arrangement working in practice.

The on-site audit ensures that the controls identified in the Approved Arrangement are being implemented in practice and that all relevant records are being kept.

Departmental audits

All export registered establishments are subject to ongoing audits at a frequency based on risk and compliance. Approved auditors check the establishment’s documented Approved Arrangement against each of the schedule topics in the Export Control Orders at least once a year.

For more information on departmental audits, see the Audit guidelines on the department’s website.

Useful links

Other guidelines for Australian export registered establishments and exporters


Dairy, Egg and Fish Programme
Residues and Food Branch
Exports Division

​Department of Agriculture
Phone: 02 6272 3933
GPO Box 858, Canberra ACT 2601
Email: Dairy Eggs and ​Fish


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