Getting your product overseas

‘Getting your product Overseas’ is designed to help potential exporters of Australian agricultural and fisheries products meet Australian and importing country requirements.

Export commodities and AQIS
Registering your premises

Export commodities and AQIS

Under the Export Control Act 1982, there are ‘prescribed’ and ‘non-prescribed’ goods. Depending on what you want to export, the requirements you must meet will vary. Examples of prescribed goods are:

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

Non-prescribed goods are all other goods, and provisions may apply depending on the requirements of the importing country. All requirements referred to on this page relate to prescribed goods only.

Registering your premises

Some prescribed goods intended for export must be prepared at registered premises. This means that your premises must be constructed, equipped and operate in an effective and hygienic manner, and be approved by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS).

To register your premises, you must first submit an application form to AQIS. Once your form is received, an AQIS officer will inspect your premises. You can begin export operations when you receive notification of approval by AQIS and (where required) overseas government authorities. You will be given a registration certificate and number, which must be displayed at your premises.

A review of registration occurs regularly.


The Government requires AQIS to recover costs of its inspection and certification services. Fees include:

  • Establishment registration charge
  • Quantity charge
  • Fee for service
  • Documentation charge


As part of ensuring the quality of your product, most prescribed goods must undergo some form of inspection to verify that they are safe and accurately described, and to ensure that foreign government requirements and our international obligations are met. The type of inspection depends on the commodity and export destination requirements.

AQIS has moved away from final product inspection to Quality Assurance (QA) based systems. Exporters now have greater responsible for their products’ quality and compliance with overseas government requirements.

Speak to AQIS about what QA system would be appropriate for your operations.

Alternative inspection arrangements include:

  • Certification Assurance
  • Food Processing Accreditation
  • Approved Quality Assurance
  • Meat Safety Quality Assurance


Prescribed goods require an export clearance number (ECN) for clearance through the Australian Customs Service EXIT system. They may also require certification to enable entry into the importing country.

For meat, hides and skins, fish, dairy, horticulture and grains, documentation may be lodged electronically with AQIS via the EXDOC system. You must register with the EXDOC system before export documentation can be issued in your name. For further information visit EXDOC

Commodity–specific requirements are contained in the various commodity Orders, instructions and guidelines that cover the construction and operational standards for export establishments. 


Export Control Act 
Prescribed Goods (General) Orders
Export Meat Orders
Game, Poultry and Rabbit Meat Orders
Export Control (Processed Food) Orders
Export Control (Plants and Plant Products) Orders
Export Control (Animals) Orders
Export Control (Organic Produce Certification) Orders

View Export Legislation


How AQIS helps exporters

Last reviewed:
16 May 2013