30 January 2019
This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to notify industry that the exchange of electronic export certificates (including phytosanitary certificates) between Australia and the Republic of the Philippines will commence 1 March 2019.
Summary of changes and key points
- The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will no longer issue paper export certificates (including phytosanitary certificates) from the Export Documentation System (EXDOC) for grain and horticulture consignments exported to the Philippines, effective 1 March 2019.
- The department’s electronic certification system (e-Cert) is integrated with EXDOC and will instead allow the transmission of export certificate data to the Philippines without any other changes to export processes for grain and/or horticulture commodities.
- Exporters or agents will be able to print ‘extracts’ of export certificates from EXDOC in order to satisfy commercial arrangements, where necessary. Refer to Attachment A for a draft extract of a grain phytosanitary certificate. Please note this is subject to change prior to finalisation.
- Where an export certificate is not currently issued through EXDOC (for example, non-GMO certification), there will be no change to current process. These certificates will continue to be issued as paper certificates.
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- On 28 November 2018, the Department of Agriculture of the Republic of the Philippines and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of the Commonwealth of Australia signed an agreement to commence the electronic exchange of export certificates.
- The agreement will result in the removal of paper export certificates for consignments of edible meat and dairy, grain and horticulture commodities to the Philippines.
- In place of paper export certificates, all export certificate data will be electronically transmitted between the two countries.
- e-Cert is an electronic government to government system designed to exchange export certificates for traded food and agricultural commodities. The system generates an electronic message in place of the current paper certificate issued by the exporting country to the importing country; to confirm food safety, animal and plant health. More information on e-Cert can be found on the department’s website.
- There is a global drive to move towards electronic certification as it simplifies and harmonises the import and export process where government certification is required.
Australian exporters should discuss with their relevant importers, the removal of paper export certificates issued from EXDOC for exports of grain and/or horticulture consignments to the Philippines.
If you have any questions regarding this IAN please email EXDOC Plant Programs.
Plant Export Operations Branch