Agricultural Trade Quarterly Briefing

Searchin’ for sea urchin

Aussie sea urchin roe is considered a premium product by many overseas markets. Australian business Sea Urchin Harvest, based in Moruya on the NSW South Coast, is preparing to enter the export market.

Our Seafood Export Facilitator SEF team recently visited Sea Urchin Harvest to witness how our specialist advice has bolstered the business and supported their export readiness. The team saw the new processing facility, built to meet Australia’s export standards. They also discussed the approaches being applied to manage the separate importing requirements for different countries.

Soon this sweet, creamy, umami roe will be exported to new markets for use in many products which could include anything from sushi, dumplings, popcorn, ice-cream, and a Korean shaved ice dessert called ‘bingsu’.

To learn more about our Agricultural Trade Reform Seafood Export Facilitation service please visit:

Seafood Export Facilitator service ‘Have Your Say’ open now

The seafood industry identified they wanted a single point of contact to receive support with registration applications. As a result of industry feedback, the Seafood Export Reform Program launched the Seafood Export Facilitator service in October 2021.

The Seafood Export Facilitator service includes support for exporters to develop approved arrangements and access further technical information.

To improve the service, we want you to provide feedback on your experience with the Seafood Export Facilitator service.

The Seafood Export Facilitator has responded to more than 500 export enquiries and has provided support to approximately 200 businesses in the past 12 months, including one-on-one support to exporters seeking to become export registered and to existing registered establishments navigating export legislation and importing country requirements.

Your feedback will help us improve the way we support you. This may include other types of support, or resources and learning materials for current and potential exporters.

To have your say please complete our survey by 5pm (AEDT), 9 December 2022.

New export quotas for Australian Agriculture Exporters, are coming

The Australian Government is continuing to support the agriculture industry as it works towards reaching its goal of $100 billion in production by 2030.

To assist with this growth, the Australian Government has recently negotiated new trade agreements with India and the United Kingdom that deliver significant tariff reductions under export quotas for a range of agricultural products.

The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) will introduce 5 new tariff rate quotas for exports to India. The commodities are:

  • Cotton
  • Oranges and mandarins
  • Pears
  • Almonds
  • Lentils

The Australia – United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UK FTA) will introduce 10 new tariff free quotas for exports to the UK. The commodities are:

  • Beef Meat
  • Sheep Meat
  • Milk Cream Yogurt and Whey
  • Butter
  • Cheese and Curd
  • Wheat and Meslin
  • Barley
  • Long grain rice
  • Broken Rice
  • Sugar

The department will provide the management and administration of these quotas under the Export Control (Tariff Rate Quota – General) Rules 2021 (the Rules).

The implementation activities on the quota management system and changes to the legislation are underway, aiming for a December readiness date noting the actual entry into force is still not known.

For more information on these new export quotas and to keep up to date with “what’s coming up”, refer to our website:

RegTech grants now open

Grants are open for our $6 million National Agriculture Traceability Grants Program – Regulatory Technology Research and Insights Grant Round.

If you’re keen to unlock technology to help enhance our agricultural traceability and make our agricultural regulatory processes more efficient, apply now.

Grants of between $50,000 to $500,000 are available for projects lasting up to 2 years.

Grants are open to industry or research applicants who meet 1 or more of the following outcomes:

  • Investigation of how RegTech can assist in streamlining agricultural compliance obligations.
  • Feasibility assessments of traceability RegTech systems.
  • Identification and assessment of standardisable features of traceability RegTech applications, devices and platforms that can be applied across agricultural industries, supply chains and commodities to increase value and expand export market access.

Successful projects will strengthen partnerships across industry and scientific and research organisations to develop effective agricultural traceability mechanisms that helps Australian producers.

Applications close 14 December 2022.

Find out more and apply online via the Community Grants Hub.

National Agricultural Traceability

We're one step closer to a coordinated national agricultural traceability approach after the Australian Agricultural Traceability Alliance Forum in mid-October.

More than 240 members from the Australian Agricultural Traceability Alliance worked together to help finalise fundamental elements of the first ever codesigned 10-year National Agricultural Traceability Strategy.

The proposed fundamentals of the 10-year strategy, which seeks to accelerate towards and exceed the $100 billion agriculture industry target by 2030 and beyond, were discussed to ensure they were fit for purpose and able to meet the strategy’s intent.

To take the industry beyond 2030 and $100 billion, it will need to:

  • adopt enhanced traceability and credentials to secure premium pricing for agricultural exports and help mitigate biosecurity and food safety risks and
  • be responsive to other market access issues that may arise.

The forum was the first step toward finalising the draft strategy. Additional feedback from the Alliance was collected through the department’s ‘Have Your Say’ survey.

The department is now working to refine the draft strategy. It will be finalised through a new governance mechanism and an endorsement process involving consultation with the Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Murray Watt. The strategy is expected to be released in early to mid-2023. It will guide the enhancement and harmonisation of our national agricultural traceability approach.

Agricultural traceability is a national priority that requires the cooperation of governments, industries, and other agricultural supply chain stakeholders. A coordinated effort is essential.

Agricultural industries and the private sector along the supply chain play a key role to identify best practice, encourage uniformity of standards and technology, and promote uptake. Industries can also help invest in research and development to ensure there is a sufficient and affordable market supply of traceability products and services to be used throughout the agricultural sector.

Alliance members can check for updates on the department’s website:

Building connections with our counterparts in South America

More than 70% of our agricultural produce is exported and it is important we think about the global context – how we farm, and farm sustainably so that we can support the production of high-quality and nutritious agricultural produce to meet a growing global population.

A multilateral system that draws on science and risk when setting global standards, that works through consensus, giving voice to both large and small economies, and that ultimately supports free and open trade, will help address the challenges we face.

First Special Representative for Australian Agriculture, Su McCluskey, has met with a diverse range of government officials and industry across the globe carrying these messages, and highlighting Australia’s support for the rules-based multilateral trade system, innovation and our commitment to sustainable agriculture, since starting the role in November 2021.

“Through my engagement both with Australian industry and international colleagues, we have discussed how a ‘one size fits all’ approach to sustainable production will only undermine progress toward sustainable productivity growth. Research, innovation and adoption has to be tailored to the ecological, cultural and economic conditions of each economy,” Su said.

While in South America recently, Su had the opportunity to talk with likeminded partners and witness their advancements in research and development and innovation for sustainable agriculture.

Su was also able to promote and share some of the great research and extension work from Australia. “We have much in common with South America, and I was impressed with their work on data collection and soil management,” Su said.

“It is important for us to maintain these connections and find partners who share Australia’s vision for practical sustainable agriculture that allows farmers to innovate and expand their business without the regulatory burden.”

The Special Representative said she was confident agriculture production could positively contribute to global environmental goals while still allowing free and open trade to ensure food security. “Australia is and will continue to be a leader, and I look forward to supporting this action in the year ahead.”

Find out more about our Global Agriculture Leadership Initiative.

National Agriculture Market Intelligence Roundtable

The second National Agriculture Market Intelligence roundtable took place in Brisbane in October 2022. It focused on export opportunities for agriculture, fisheries and forestry (AFF) products into Vietnam. The roundtable was a great platform for our overseas counsellors, peak industry bodies, rural research and development corporations and representatives from all levels of government to attend, build networks and share agricultural market intelligence.

Real time, on the ground intelligence has been welcomed by industry and supports exporters to expand and diversify trade in overseas markets.

Attendees heard from our ‘View from Vietnam’ panel including Australia’s Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski, Austrade Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Rebecca Ball, and our agriculture counsellor, Tony Harman.

An industry led panel also shared their in-market Vietnam experiences with virtual and in-person presentations on changing consumer trends and the importance of maintaining strong working relationships with local Vietnamese importers.

Snapshot: exports to Vietnam

Australian agriculture, fisheries, and forestry (AFF) products have a strong and growing presence in Vietnam.

Vietnam is Australia’s 7th largest AFF market – 5% of all AFF exports in 2021-22 were to Vietnam.

Australia exported a record A$3.4 billion of AFF products to Vietnam in 2021-22, a 39.2% increase from $2.4 billion in 2020-21. The main contributor to this change was substantial increases in wheat and cotton exports.

Read about opportunities for Australian agricultural exports in Vietnam here:

For more agriculture market intelligence straight to your inbox each month, subscribe to the agriculture market intelligence insights newsletter here:

Food Safety Forum – Vienna

Shayne Daniels from the Dairy, Eggs and Seafood Export Program recently presented at the food safety forum in Vienna, Austria. The forum was a joint initiative between the United Nations, The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the World Trade Organisation’s Standards & Trade Development Facility. More than 400 delegates attended from across the globe. The forum covered key issues at the centre of the department’s reform work in the dairy and seafood space, specifically:

  • the use of voluntary third-party assurance systems to inform food safety outcomes
  • sharing data for improved food safety decision making
  • benefits of remote auditing and
  • a risk-based approach to determining intervention and food safety outcomes.

Shayne Daniels said it was wonderful to see so many countries all approaching audit, regulatory oversight and food safety in the same way.

The department presented on its dairy and seafood reform, focusing on the use of data, determining risk and how we are using digital solutions. The presentation also covered how we have partnered with industry to co-design and co-implement our reform and what the challenges have been. The department’s presentation was well received with lots of questions and interactive discussions. The event provided opportunities to make useful contacts with several government agencies and commercial organisations who expressed interest in undertaking further work with the department around specific reform projects.

Two days of meetings with the head office team at Nestle in Geneva Switzerland followed the forum. Nestle is a global company operating across all major trading partners. Nestle executives shared how as a company they manage risks, how they use data to inform food safety, what value they put on external certification and what value they see in the regulatory oversight approaches that are adopted in different countries. Nestle is now looking to trial some of the department’s reform work here in Australia.

For more information about the department’s work in dairy and seafood reform, please contact the Dairy, Eggs and Seafood Exports program at:

Australia and New Zealand make eCert plant import history for Australia

Paperless certification trailblazers Australia and New Zealand have made history in the way plant goods are imported into Australia.

On October 26, 2022, Australia and New Zealand transitioned our current bilateral paperless certification exchange of import phytosanitary certificates, or ePhyto to start receiving this certification via the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) ePhyto Hub.

According to Anna Somerville, Exports Standards Branch Assistant Secretary “Australia played a key role in the development of the ePhyto and IPPC Hub solution standards, and we are excited to reach this milestone where we are now exchanging live phytosanitary certificates through the Hub for goods arriving from New Zealand.”

The IPPC standardised format of the Hub makes it easier to exchange ePhytos with other countries who are also trading via the ePhyto hub.

It means Australia will continue to receive the ePhyto benefits such as certification for plant goods being exchanged in a faster, easier, and more secure way than paper certification.

“This work would not have been possible without the amazing collaborative engagement between our department and New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries, and I am excited to share this Australian first with our New Zealand colleagues.” Dr Somerville said.

Australia is planning to expand ePhyto exchanges received via the Hub to other trading partners in 2023.

Find out more about eCerts for import: Electronic Certification (eCert) for imports - DAFF (

How sweet it is: building systems to meet exporters’ needs

Honey exporters are buzzing about the new features in NEXDOC. The new digital process is a welcome move away from the arduous manual procedures honey exporters have been used to.

Since March 2022, NEXDOC has generated digital certificates for 16 countries, representing more than 53% of markets requiring certification for honey and apiculture products.

“Processing times with NEXDOC have significantly reduced,” one honey exporter said. Another said “NEXDOC will change our lives [once all remaining countries are onboarded], it means the difference between getting documents on time or not.”

NEXDOC provides self-service functionality, remote printing, and direct communication with the department. It delivers real reductions in processing times, as import permit details for honey exports are automatically generated on digital certificates when completed within the Request for Export website online system.

At the end of October 2022, Qatar joined the list of countries participating, raising the number of countries to 17.

The Digital Clearance Service team within the department is working alongside industry to bring real improvements to exporters. Work is underway to progressively onboard remaining trading partners.

NEXDOC enhancements are being continually delivered for dairy, honey and apiculture exports. To keep up to date with the latest news visit NEXDOC Next Export Documentation System (NEXDOC) - DAFF ( or contact

Hiring occasional employees?There are changes to super you should know about

Changes to super guarantee started on 1 July 2022. If you hire staff as a one off, or on an occasional basis, you need to be aware of these changes. More of your occasional employees may be eligible for super.

You will need to pay super for employees at a rate of 10.5%, regardless of how much they earn, because the $450-per-month threshold for the super guarantee eligibility has been removed.

Workers who are under 18 years old still need to work more than 30 hours in a week to be eligible. For example, if you hire a 20-year-old seasonal fruit picker on a produce farm and they work 15 hours a month for 3 months of the year. They earn $435 before tax. With the removal of the threshold the fruit picker is eligible for super guarantee, which is to be paid on their ordinary time earnings at a rate of 10.5%. This change doesn’t affect other eligibility requirements for super guarantee.

Find out more about the changes to super guarantee on the ATO’s website:

Have your say - improving Export Control Rules 2021

The Export Control Act 2020 and Export Control Rules 2021 came into effect in March 2021 and replaced more than 20 Acts and 40 legislative instruments.

The new legal framework sets out the regulation of exported goods from Australia. It underpins our reputation as a supplier of safe and reliable food and other products.

After reviewing the Export Control Rules 2021 we have identified more areas for improvement.

You can have your say on proposed improvements to the Export Control Rules 2021 for animals, meat, organic goods and plants, through our online consultation.

Consultation closes on 20 January 2023 at 4pm AEST.

Get involved: