Exporting non-prescribed goods: An overview


DocumentPagesFile size
Exporting non-prescribed goods: An overview PDF PDF Icon6330 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, please visit web accessibility.


This guideline provides information and instructions for Australian businesses wanting to export non-prescribed goods. Exporters that follow this guideline will meet export requirements, ensuring their products reach the intended overseas market.

Non-prescribed goods

The Export Control Act 1982 defines prescribed goods. Any goods not defined as prescribed under the Act are deemed to be non-prescribed goods.

Examples of prescribed goods are:

  • milk and dairy products
  • live animals
  • fish and fish products
  • plants and plant products
  • eggs and egg products
  • meat and meat products
  • grains
  • animal food (frozen raw meat)
  • organic produce
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • pharmaceuticals (raw animal material).

Non-prescribed goods are all other goods. These include, but are not limited to, animal by-products, wool, skins and hides, inedible blood, rendered meats, pet food, processed foods, cosmetics, nutritional supplements and rendered fats and oils.

Some products fall into unexpected categories; for example, ice-cream is deemed to be a non-prescribed good rather than a dairy product.

Steps for exporting non-prescribed goods

These steps are set out in more detail in this guide:

Steps for exporting non-prescribed goods. See below for explanation.

Step 1: Identify whether your product requires government certification

See the Non-prescribed goods section of this guideline for what constitutes a non-prescribed good. If you are unsure if your product is a non-prescribed good, email the department.

Australian export legislation allows the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to issue government certification for the export of non-prescribed goods (under Order 8.05 of the Export Control (Prescribed Goods – General) Order 2005). This certification is based on importing country requirements. Where a country has no requirement for a government issued certificate at the point of import, the department will not be involved. However, if an importing country needs a government issued certificate to accompany non-prescribed goods exported from Australia, the department can issue certification to facilitate the export.

Step 2: Identify what importing country requirements need to be met

The department has created a Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR), which sets out known requirements that exporters and the department must meet for products and commodities to be accepted for import into specific countries. Some non-prescribed goods are housed under the Meat, Fish and Dairy sections. To access the Meat section of the site you will need to apply for access on the MICoR home screen. Access to MICoR is free of charge.

Importing country requirements can change without notice, so exporters should confirm any specific requirements with their customer or importer.

If the importing country requirements for the product you wish to export do not appear on MICoR, the exporter is responsible for confirming all requirements. The exporter should liaise with the importer in the destination country, who should be able to obtain official advice from the importing country authority, possibly in the form of an import permit. Other sources of information on importing country requirements include advice on official government websites, consulates and other published import regulations.

Where a country requires specific declarations or endorsements to be made on the government issued certificate, the exporter must provide supporting evidence to substantiate these claims before the department can include the required statements on the certification. Evidence to support a declaration or endorsement being made on a government certificate include (but are not limited to) manufacturer’s declarations, laboratory reports and treatment records.

In some instances, importing countries may require a manufacturing establishment to be listed with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources or the importing country authority before they will allow import of certain products. For some markets, and particular types of non-prescribed goods, routine audits of the manufacturer may need to be conducted. These audits can be conducted by an approved third party auditor from the Australian Hide Skin and Leather Exporters Association Ltd, Australian Renderers Association Inc or the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia Inc. Alternatively, the required audits can be undertaken by a departmental auditor. The fees associated with departmental audits can be found on the department’s website.

The purpose of auditing an establishment is to ensure that the non-prescribed goods being produced comply with importing country requirements. This may include the manufacturer being audited against requirements such as:

  • the facilities available are fit for preparing, handling, storing and/or inspecting product for export
  • appropriate hygiene and necessary measures to produce the goods according to requirements applicable to a given commodity are maintained.

To become listed, the Application Form for Animal By-Product Establishments needs to be filled out by the manufacturing establishment, signed by the relevant approved auditor and emailed to NPG Exports.

If an establishment needs to change any of their contact, management or listing details, the Continuation of Listing/Amendment Form for Animal By-Product Establishments needs to be filled out by the manufacturing establishment, signed by the relevant approved auditor and emailed to NPG Exports.

Step 3: Obtain government export certification

Once an exporter knows they require government certification for their product (step 1) and knows the importing country requirements associated with the export of that product (step 2), the exporter can apply for a government export certificate.

A government certificate can be applied for either by submitting a manual application form to your local departmental office or by using the department’s electronic Export Documentation system (EXDOC). Information on how to access EXDOC is on the department’s website. EXDOC cannot be used for all non-prescribed goods; please contact your local departmental office to discuss how best to obtain the export certification you require.

An application for government certification must be accompanied by clear evidence, in English, of all import conditions and official requirements, and evidence that the exporter can meet any additional claims or declarations that are required to be on the government certificate (by the importing country authority). An assessment will then be made about whether the department is able to issue the certificate.

Export certificates for non-prescribed goods are charged for at set rates. Information on fees is available on the department’s website.

Step 4: Export your goods

Once steps 1 to 3 have been completed successfully, the applicable non-prescribed good products can be exported.

Useful links


Non-Prescribed Goods Programme
Residues and Food Branch
Exports Division
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Phone: 02 6272 3630
GPO Box 858, Canberra ACT 2601
Email: NPG Exports