If you are planning to export fish 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 fish products from Australia.
Importing country requirements
All applicable importing country requirements must be met before you can export fish goods from Australia.
Some countries set additional documentation and registration conditions for goods imported to their country.
Check our Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) for any conditions relating to your goods.
Register as an exporter
Before exporting prescribed fish products, you must be registered with us. Registration requirements vary and depend on your specific role in the exporting process.
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 goods are being shipped directly to the wharf or airport terminal) and an export permit has been issued.
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.
Establishments that do not need to register include catcher vessels and aquaculture farms that do not pack product for export.
Requesting an export permit
Before exporting prescribed fish 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
- supporting documents required by the importing country
- transfer declaration, which is required each time a product is moved between registered establishments.
Manufacturers are responsible for providing you with the Declaration of Compliance and may provide evidence that the goods meet any specific importing country requirements. 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 used to identify the species or group of species of fish
- 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 documentation is not required for goods:
- exported to New Zealand, for most products
- legally imported into Australia, which have not been further processed or repacked before re-export
- that are non-prescribed under export legislation where there are no registration requirements imposed by the importing country – some countries may still require registration and certification for some non-prescribed goods
- in small consignments no more than:
- 10 kilograms when in solid form
- 10 litres when in liquid form
- 2 kilograms when in dried form (except for dried abalone).
However, some countries 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.