Export of Animal Reproductive Material
Under Australia's Export Control Act 1982, an Export Permit and Health Certificate issued by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) are required for export of all animal reproductive material from Australia. Animal reproductive material includes embryos, eggs or ova, semen, and anything else from which a complete live animal could be produced.
The steps below outline the process involved in the preparation of reproductive material for export. Please note that the exporter will be charged on a fee for service basis for services provided by DAFF, including audit and approval of facilities/teams and issuing Health Certificates and Export Permits.
Complying with the importing country's requirements
To export reproductive material from Australia, you are required to comply with the importing country requirements. Information on importing country requirements is available on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s (DAFF) website at MICOR Live Animals. Please note the content disclaimer on the bottom of the front page of the requirements. All MICoR entries for reproductive material are available publically without requiring a MICoR login.
It is the exporter’s responsibility to contact officials of the importing country for specific importing country requirements. Some countries issue an import permit that has the importing requirements appended or referenced. These must be supplied to DAFF, with a certified level 2/3 NAATI translation if the original is not in English.
Importing countries require a range of guarantees about the health of the collected material, and may set out requirements including (but not limited to):
- Donor health testing prior to and post collection
- Donor property of origin health status
- Collection property health status
- Who performs the collection
- Collection, processing and storage requirements for the collected material – including whether the centre in which the material is collected must be approved to a particular standard.
Documentary evidence is required for all of these guarantees. These may include vendor declarations, certification from state/territory veterinary authorities and testing results.
Approved reproductive material collection centres and teams
NB - In general terms, semen is collected in a ‘collection centre’; embryos and ova are collected by a ‘team’.
If an importing country does NOT specify any requirement for the material to be collected in a centre or by a team approved by the competent authority/government of Australia, then the material does NOT need to be collected at a DAFF approved collection centre or by an approved team. This is the situation for most exports of companion animal reproductive material. If this applies to your situation, you may go to point 4 of this page.
However, if an importing country requires that the reproductive material be collected in a centre or by a team approved by the competent authority/government of Australia, then the material to be exported from Australia MUST be collected at a DAFF approved collection centre or by an approved team. This approval is required by most importing countries for reproductive material from livestock species (e.g. sheep, goats, cattle), and from horses and pigs.
It is the exporter’s responsibility to determine if DAFF approval of a collection centre is required by the importing country before collecting any material for export.
This is determined by obtaining the importing country requirements.
DAFF approved collection centres and teams
If the importing country requires DAFF approval of the collection centre or team, there are two options available;
- Use an existing DAFF approved collection centre or team (see 3a below); or
- Seek DAFF approval of your collection centre or team (see 3b below)
3a. Using a collection centre or team that is already approved
There are a number of semen collection centres and embryo collection teams already approved for export by DAFF, including facilities approved for specific markets and species.
It is important to keep in mind when choosing a centre that some importing countries require specific approvals of collection centres and teams; you should confirm the scope of approval of your chosen centre with the individual operators.
A listing is available of approved centres and teams that have provided permission for their details to be published on the DAFF website.
3b. Obtaining approval of a collection centre or team
To obtain DAFF approval of a reproductive material collection centre or team you need to be aware that assistance from a veterinarian trained in reproductive technology is essential for both set-up and ongoing operation of a collection centre or team.
It is also vital that you become well versed in the health requirements of the intended importing country, including the approval standard required. There are three categories of approval standard:
- Importing country requires approval by DAFF, but does not further specify the standard of approval. The centre or team must either:
- Meet the minimum standards outlined in the current World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Code. This is the most common standard of approval; OR
- Meet the minimum standards of an Australian domestic standard. This is less common and should be discussed with a DAFF regional officer.
- Importing country requires specific approval to a standard of their own designation, for example the European Union, New Zealand. Details on the standards to be met can be obtained from the importing country, MICoR, or with assistance from DAFF regional officers. Some importing countries may also require physical inspection of centres or teams by their own officials; this occurs at the Australian exporter’s expense.
- Importing country requires approval to an Australian domestic standard — this requirement is increasingly rare and if required by an importing country, it should be discussed with a DAFF regional officer.
Approval is a two-step process; set-up and audit. DAFF regional officers can provide advice on this process and assist you by answering queries during the set-up phase. For assistance, please contact your nearest DAFF regional office.
You first need to set up your centre or team to meet the physical and operational standards as required by your intended import country. Operations manuals or other formalised documents are vital in demonstrating your compliance with the necessary requirements.
Once you believe that you comply with the importing country requirements you should contact your DAFF regional office to arrange for the initial documentary and physical audit. All documents regarding the audit need to be provided in advance of the audit date. A DAFF officer will conduct the documentary and physical audit, and record the audit findings. If there are audit findings which do not meet the specified standard, you will be provided with advice on these. Time-based fees apply for services provided by DAFF during the approval process, including review of operations manuals, documents and inspection of facilities.
If the DAFF audit is successful you will be issued with an approval certificate for the standard you were audited against. The approval will be valid for a specific date range. To maintain approval, you must be audited at particular intervals. Audit intervals differ depending on the market and type of material you are approved for.
DAFF approved collection centres and teams are required to arrange for their next audit by DAFF regional officers prior to the expiry date on the approval certificates. If contact has not been made with a DAFF regional office prior to the expiry date on the certificate, semen and embryos collected after this date will not be eligible for export, and the eligibility of stored material may also be jeopardised.
Submit a 'Notice of Intention to Export' and supporting documentation
Complete a 'Notice of Intention to Export Animal Reproductive Material' (NOI) form and return by email, fax or mail to the DAFF office in the region from which you will be exporting. If you require an import permit from the importing country please provide a copy with the NOI. If the import permit is not in English you will need to supply a NAATI certified translated copy.
The Export Control Act stipulates that the NOI should be received at least 10 working days before the donor animals enter quarantine/isolation, or if there is no requirement for isolation, 10 working days before the scheduled date of export. NOIs should be submitted to the relevant DAFF regional office well in advance of the intended date of export.
Sufficient supporting documentation should be supplied with the NOI to allow DAFF to assess if the exporter's plans (including sourcing of eligible animals, testing and treatment schedules, and obtaining appropriate health status declarations) are sufficient to meet the relevant importing country's requirements.
If sufficient information has been provided and the preparation plans are acceptable the exporter will be advised. If the NOI is inadequate the exporter will be advised of the reasons why and what additional information and/or conditions are required for them to proceed.
Make an appointment with DAFF for tank inspection and issue of official documentation
Once the NOI has been submitted and contains sufficient information, the exporter must arrange an appointment for the inspection of the material to be exported (tank inspection) and the issuance of the Health Certificate and Export Permit.
At the tank inspection appointment you must present any outstanding original documentation. DAFF will review all documentary evidence required to confirm that the material complies with importing country requirements, and will inspect the tank to confirm that the contents match the documentation provided.
It is the exporter’s responsibility to provide handling expertise, fresh liquid nitrogen and all equipment required during this inspection. The viability of the tank and contents, and recharging of the tank, is also the responsibility of the exporter.
Based on the documentation and tank inspection, the DAFF certifying officer will determine whether the animal reproductive material has qualified for export. The consignment cannot be exported until DAFF has issued the Health Certificate and Export Permit. These will only be issued once the DAFF certifying officer is satisfied that the reproductive material has been prepared in accordance with the importing country's requirements and in compliance with the relevant legislation. DAFF will apply an official seal to the tank following compliant inspection.
DAFF offices are open Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays).
The fee for issue of a Health Certificate and Export Permit is a time-based fee for service charged per quarter-hour or part thereof, including administration, correspondence, documentation verification and tank inspection.
|Sydney—NSW||1 Crewe Place, Rosebery, 2018||02 8334 7432||02 8334 7430|
Vic & Tas
|DAFF Regional Office (Customs House)
Corner Grants and Centre Road
Melbourne Airport Precinct Tullamarine VIC 3043
|03 8308 5069
03 8308 5070
03 8308 5072
|03 8308 5071|
|Cairns—Nth Qld||Airport Administration Centre, Cairns International Airport 4870||07 4030 7800||07 4035 9578|
|Brisbane—Qld||42-44 Qantas Drive
Eagle Farm QLD 4009
|07 3246 8731||07 3246 8798|
|Adelaide—SA||Adelaide International Airport
Sir Donald Bradman Drive Export Park SA 5950
|08 8201 6000||08 8305 9820|
|Perth—WA||9 Fricker Road
Perth Airport 6105
|08 9334 1555||08 9334 1668|
|Darwin—NT||1 Pederson Road
(cnr Henry Wigley Road)
|08 8920 7000||08 8920 7011|
|Canberra—ACT||18 Marcus Clarke Street
CANBERRA CITY 2601
|02 6272 4581||02 6272 5423|
30 Jul 2012