Making it easier for ag exporters to do business

26 March 2021
  • New agricultural export control legislation reduces red tape while ensuring compliance
  • Farmers, other primary producers and exporters to benefit from consolidated legal framework

A new legal framework for Australia’s agricultural exports commenced today, streamlining the way farmers, other primary producers and exporters do business with our trading partners.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Australian Government was committed to ensuring relevant, responsive and efficient export legislation.

“We are making it easier for farmers, other primary producers and exporters to send their products abroad while safeguarding our reputation as a reliable, high-quality source of food and fibre,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The Australian Government is committed to growing agriculture, creating jobs and opening up more opportunities through exports.

“Removing unnecessary regulatory burden is fundamental if we want to crack into new markets and grow existing ones.

“The streamlining of this export legislation will reduce complexity, duplication and ambiguity, making the new legislation easier to understand, administer and use.

“It will continue to ensure exported goods meet importing country requirements, maintain supply chain traceability and compliance with government and relevant industry standards.

“Improving and streamlining Australia’s agricultural export services is an Australian Government priority and a key pillar in supporting industry’s ambition to grow agriculture into a $100 billion industry by 2030.

“I welcome the design of this new framework and thank the industry, our farmers, other primary producers and trading partners for their contribution and feedback.”

The new agricultural export legislation replaces the Export Control Act 1982, export-related provisions of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997, and related legislative instruments.

It streamlines and consolidates the export-related requirements previously included in more than 20 Acts and 40 pieces of delegated legislation. 

Further information on the new agricultural export legislation is available here. Stakeholders can direct questions they may have about to the department by:

Fast Facts:

  • The new legal framework for Australia’s agricultural exports commences on 28 March 2021 and comprises:
  • Export Control Act 2020, the overarching legal framework for the regulation of exported goods including food and agricultural products from Australia
    Export Control Rules 2021, legislative instruments setting out operational requirements that must be met to export specific goods from Australia. 
  • The legislation reflects the outcome of extensive consultations with farmers, other primary producers and exporters, trading partners, and state and territory governments. 
  • ABARES expects the combined value of Australian agriculture, fisheries and forestry exports to be $49.2 billion in 2020–21. 
  • This is a declined from 2019-20, mainly as a result of reduced livestock production associated with herd rebuilding in response to positive seasonal conditions.