2017-07 - Business Systems Program - Update to Plant Export Certificates

20 March 2017


The purpose of this Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to remind exporters that the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is updating plant export certificates from 10 April 2017.

Summary of changes and key points

  • The update to plant export certificates issued by the department will take effect from 10 April 2017.
  • The update ensures plant export certificates align with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 12: Phytosanitary Certificates.
  • The update reflects the change to official stamps and seals implemented in November 2016 (IAN 2016-66).
  • Commercial information such as letter of credit and notify party details will no longer be permitted on phytosanitary certificates.
  • The department has notified trading partners of the upcoming changes to facilitate a smooth transition and avoid any trade disruptions.
  • There will be a transition period whereby port officials in overseas countries will see existing and updated plant export certificates, until all consignments using the existing certificates have cleared import inspection.


The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) is an international agreement on plant health that aims to protect cultivated and wild plants by preventing the introduction and spread of pests. As a signatory to the convention, Australia must comply with the international framework for plant protection, including ISPM 12.

Phytosanitary certificates are issued to demonstrate that consignments of plants, plant products or other regulated articles meet specified phytosanitary import requirements and must conform to the certifying statement of the appropriate model certificate in ISPM 12.

IPPC standards only allow for the certification of information that is applicable to phytosanitary measures and not the inclusion of commercial information such as the letter of credit and notify party details.  These updates will further support the move towards e-Phyto as commercial information is not included in e-Phyto transmissions.

The updates can be seen through a comparison of Attachment A - Updated phytosanitary certificate and Attachment B - Existing phytosanitary certificate, which have been attached to this IAN for additional information. The updates are as follows:

  • update to the department’s official crest and naming
  • minor formatting changes
  • the inclusion of a date of issue field.

Industry were consulted on the update to plant export certificates through relevant Industry Consultative Committees.

The new Electronic Plant Export Certification Training Package was implemented on 4 January 2017, which does not include training in notify party or letter of credit.  Further details can be found in IAN 2016-72.

Exporter responsibilities

  • Australian exporters should continue discussions with their importers regarding the update to plant export certificates and the removal of commercial information such as letter of credit and notify party details.