Plant export commodities need export certification issued by DAWR and be exported from Australia within 28 days of passing the phytosanitary inspection in Step 4, or within a shorter timeframe if specified by the importing country authority.

For sea freight, a Pre-Receival Advice (PRA) for each sea freight container must be obtained. There are several ways to obtain a PRA including: custom applications, commercial off-the-shelf software, or hosted applications on the internet such as Exportnet.

A shipper's Letter of Instruction and the PRA are used to produce a Bill of Lading (B/L). A B/L is a legal document which confirms that the export cargo has been accepted by the shipping vessel company. It acts as a receipt of goods by the shipping company and enables the importer to take delivery at the receiving port.

Export wharfage fees (or terminal handling fees) are levied for the maintenance of Australian seaports and harbour facilities and are usually included in shipping companies' freight charges. Air freight follows the same procedures as export by sea freight. However, instead of receiving a Bill of Lading, the airline or freight forwarder will provide an Airway Bill as receipt of cargo.

During shipment, goods may be required to undergo in-transit treatments to meet the importing country's requirements.

What you need to do

  • Check that the departure date of the goods is within the timeframe specified by the department AND the importing country authority.
  • Obtain a PRA.
  • Obtain a B/L (for sea freight) or an Airway Bill (for air freight).
  • Pay export wharfage fees, if sea freighted.
  • Provide any export certification issued by DAWR
  • Treat goods in-transit, if required.