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Case Documentation Requirement

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Case: Highly refined organic chemicals and substances Effective: 31 Jul 2020 to 05 Sep 2020

Documentation Requirements

The information below describes the requirements for documentation presented to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to support the risk assessment of imported goods.


A commercial document issued by the seller to the buyer indicating the products, quantities and prices for the goods being imported. This document will also include an invoice or order number.

  1. Complete - All prescribed information required to be on a document must be present and complete. Additional prescribed information below:

    1. The document must include the name and physical address of the Supplier.

    2. The document may also include Commercial Reference numbers, such as invoice or order numbers.

    3. The document must include a description and quantity of the goods.

    4. The document must include the name and physical address of the Purchaser.

  2. Legible - All prescribed information required to be on a document must be legible.

  3. Valid - Many documents, such as import permits, are valid for a certain period. Presented documents must comply with the validity requirements specified for that class of document.

  4. In English - All information required to be on a document must be in English. Exceptions to this rule include:

    1. company letterheads that do not need to be translated into English but must be in English characters.

    2. commercial, transport and government certification that are required to comply with international standard formats.

    3. signatures and names of individuals.

    Where a document cannot be provided in English, an affidavit will be accepted from either:

    1. that country’s consulate in Australia.

    2. the Australian embassy in the country of origin.

    3. a translator accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd.

  5. Free from erasures and alterations - All prescribed information on the document must be free from erasures and alterations unless endorsed by the issuer of the document. The only acceptable endorsement is a company stamp or seal signed by the company employee (including printed name) or a government stamp or seal signed by a government employee (including printed name) applied adjacent to the alteration.

  6. Multiple page documents - Multi page document must:

    • include individual reference numbers/numerical link on ALL pages of the document.
      For example, commercial invoices (or similar) must contain the documents individual reference number or numerical link on each page of the document.

    • contain an endorsement on the final page of the document, following the information that is being endorsed.

    Note: where a document has noted attachments, the attachments can follow the endorsement.

  7. Date of issue - All documents must identify the date of issue and is to include the day, month and year. Packing declarations may contain vessel/voyage number which can be used in lieu of the date of issue.

  8. Consignment specific link - All documents presented to the department for assessment must have a unique consignment-specific link. Examples of consignment identification include:

    • container numbers

    • bill numbers

    • commercial invoice numbers

    • lot codes

    • preferential tariff certificate numbers

    • packing list numbers

    • letter of credit numbers.

    Where a document does not contain one of the accepted forms of consignment identification, a numerical link to another document that does contain appropriate consignment identification must be present.

    Examples of acceptable numerical links include:

    • order numbers

    • reference numbers

    • any other internal reference numbers used by overseas companies

    • vessel/voyage references.

    Numerical links alone cannot be used as consignment identification links.

    Unacceptable numerical links are references that could be present in previous or subsequent consignments and relate to a model, type or standardised item number. Examples of unacceptable numerical links include:

    • number of packages

    • weights

    • dates

    • stockkeeping unit

    • item codes.

    Annual packing declarations are exempt from having consignment-specific links.

Warnings and Information Notices

For further information, please refer to the Minimum documentary and import declaration requirements policy.

Related Information:

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