About the Export Certification Reform Package (ECRP)
The $127.4 million Export Certification Reform Package (ECRP) was provided to deliver more efficient export inspection and certification services and reduce AQIS fees and charges for exporters. The aim of the reform was to provide a world–class export certification system based on improved Australian legislation, developed through an industry and government partnership.
Ensuring importing country requirements were consistently met and market access was maintained and facilitated to grow Australia’s $32 billion agricultural export industry were both priorities under the package.
Current fees and charges were agreed with industry in 2009 and were associated with the reform package which included a 40 per cent rebate until 30 June 2011. This is in line with the Beale Review, which recommended export certification functions should return to full cost recovery.
More information on the ECRP is available on the DAFF website.
Export reform for the meat industry
The Joint Meat Industry / Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) Ministerial Taskforce (MTF) was set up as part of the ECRP to review and develop a more efficient export process for the meat industry — reducing costs and regulatory burden for exporters. The MTF has made significant progress in its reform agenda.
Key reform priorities include developing a new service delivery model and developing sophisticated IT systems to support it. The development of new fees and charges to underpin the new model and maximise the potential efficiencies for the industry is also critical.
Benefits from the reform will include:
- an improved service delivery model for meat inspection and certification
- improvements to export documentation processes
- development of two new IT systems to support the new arrangements- the Audit Management System and the Manual of Importing Country Requirements
- reduced regulatory costs for industry and increased flexibility for industry
- improved data collection and analysis to assist objective risk-based inspection and verification activities, to support continued industry business improvement and as an indication of the performance of the national system
- a strengthened platform for market access negotiations.
Together, these changes will ensure Australia remains at the forefront of export inspection and provide greater assurance to our international markets of the integrity and safety of our meat exports.
Service delivery model
The meat service delivery model, known as the Australian Export Meat Inspection System (AEMIS) - is aimed at delivering export services, such as inspection and audit, more efficiently and effectively. This will provide industry with greater flexibility by allowing it the opportunity to independently engage AQIS Authorised Officers (AAOs), who are specially trained individuals to manage and perform specified export inspection functions in accordance with Australian export legislation. The AAO application form and explanatory documents are available from our website. Alternatively, if establishments do not wish to engage AAOs they will be able to use AQIS meat inspectors, known as Food Safety Meat Assessors (FSMAs).
The new service delivery model is part of a package that includes a fees and charges schedule that underpins it. The new service delivery model will be rolled out once the new fees and charges are in place - the very earliest this could occur is 1 October 2011. For the time being, the current meat inspection arrangements will continue to apply.
Revised fees and charges
In accordance with Government policy the industry will return to full cost recovery from 1 July 2011. The rebate that is currently applied against the fees and charges has been provided as part of the reforms and expires on 30 June 2011. From 1 July 2011 the rebate will be removed from invoices and fee payers will be required to cover the full costs of the export services they receive.
Existing arrangements with the Department support the provision of services under the current service delivery model. Establishments should be aware that these arrangements will need to be varied to appropriately reflect the provision of services under an AEMIS service delivery model.
At this time, the fees that will apply from 1 July 2011 are those that are currently in force and which were implemented in December 2009. For more information please visit the meat fees and charges page.
A revised fees and charges schedule is currently being considered to ensure it appropriately underpins the new service delivery model and is applied in a manner that is equitable across the export meat industry.
As noted above, the earliest new fees and charges could be implemented is 1 October 2011. The website will be updated when more information is available.
New IT systems
Audit Management System
The Audit Management System (AMS) is an interactive web portal that will support the revised service delivery model for export certification. It will streamline data entry, analysis and reporting and replace current disparate manual systems. The AMS is being developed to span the dairy, fish, grain, horticulture and meat export industries.
For more information please read the Meat AMS fact sheet.
Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR)
A new IT system (called MICoR) is being developed to include all known importing country requirements for dairy, fish, grain, horticulture, live animal and meat exports. MICoR is a modern, web-based system that will replace Vol II, the existing repository for importing country requirements for meat. The data in Vol II is being reviewed for accuracy and moved onto the new system as soon as it is ready.
For more information please read the Meat MICoR fact sheet.
07 Jul 2011