Produce labelled as Organic or Biodynamic are Prescribed Goods under the new Export Control Act (2020). This means that to legally export agricultural produce with reference to organic or biodynamic status in the labeling or corresponding documentation, each consignment needs to be approved for export by a government approved organic certification body (CB). There is a specific form known as an Organic Goods Certificate (OGC), which must be sent with each consignment of organic or biodynamic produce.

Useful links:

Improved agricultural export legislation

Australia’s new legal framework for agricultural exports commenced on Sunday 28 March 2021 at 3 am Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).

The new export legislation includes:

  • The Export Control Act 2020
  • The Export Control Rules 2021
  • The Export Control (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2020

View more information on the DAWE website here: agriculture.gov.au/market-access-trade/improved-export-legislation

Additional requirements

In addition to meeting the legal requirements for organic produce leaving Australia, exporters must also be aware of relevant importing country requirements.

Unfortunately, at this stage, the importing country requirements relevant to organic produce claims are not included in the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR).

Below is a current list of countries which have equivalence arrangements with Australia. This list is not exhaustive and may change without notice, so please also check directly with your certification body well in advance of sending organic produce overseas.

Countries with equivalence arrangements with Australia:

  • the European Union – for:
    • unprocessed plant products, excluding seaweed
    • processed agricultural products for use as food composed of essentially one or more ingredients of plant origin, excluding wine and yeast
    • vegetative propagating material and seeds for cultivation
  • Japan – for:
    • plant-based products
    • livestock products and processed foods, excluding fishery products and bee products
  • Switzerland – for:
    • unprocessed plant products, excluding seaweed
    • processed agricultural products for use as food composed of essentially one or more ingredients of plant origin, excluding wine and yeast
    • vegetative propagating material and seeds for cultivation
  • Taiwan – for:
    • crops
    • livestock
    • aquatic plants
    • processed foods, excluding bee products.
  • United Kingdom (post-Brexit) – for:
    • unprocessed plant products, excluding seaweed
    • processed agricultural products for use as food composed essentially of one or more ingredients of plant origin, excluding wine and yeast
    • vegetative propagating material and seeds for cultivation.

For updates and export notices for organic products, please refer to the DAWE website here.

For more information regarding export market access and export requirements, please contact your certification body.