Skip to Content

Case Documentation Requirement

Search Import Questions Import Conditions Onshore Outcomes

Case: Fresh mustard stick, betel leaves and paan leaves (Piper betel) for human consumption Effective: 23 Dec 2020 to 01 Feb 2021

Documentation Requirements

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

Phytosanitary certificate

A certificate issued by the NPPO of the country of origin to attest that plants, plant products or other regulated articles meet the phytosanitary import requirements of Australia. This certificate is signed by the NPPO (representative from the National Plant Protection Organisation) from the country of origin (or processing) and includes all relevant statements as required by the import conditions.

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

    1. The phytosanitary certificate must comply with information on the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) website.

    2. The document must be issued by the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) of the issuing country.

    3. The document must contain the name of the country of origin of the goods.

    4. The name of the importing country must appear on the certificate.

    5. The document must contain the name of exporter. The exporter's name combined with the importer's name may be used as the consignment link.

    6. The document must contain the address of the exporter. Where applicable it should also include the State or Territory and the postcode.

    7. The document must contain consignor details (including name and address).

    8. The certificate must contain the number/quantity and description of the packages.

    9. Distinguishing marks may be indicated on the certificate.

    10. The document must contain the declared means of conveyance. Terms such as "sea, air, road, rail, mail and passenger" should be used.

    11. The document must contain the declared point of entry. This should be the first point of arrival in the country of final destination, or if not known, the country name.

    12. The document must identify plants and plant products using accepted scientific names, at least to genus level but preferably to species level.

    13. The document must include a description and quantity of goods.

    14. Additional declarations should only be those containing information required by the importing country and not otherwise noted on the certificate. Additional declarations should be kept to a minimum and be concise.

    15. Each certificate must contain a unique identification number.

    16. Treatments indicated should only be those which are acceptable to the importing country and are performed in the exporting country or in-transit to meet the phytosanitary requirements of the importing country.

    17. The document must include the name of the endorsing officer.

    18. The phytosanitary certificate must have been issued no more than six months prior to the date of export, unless otherwise specified.

    19. All documents must be signed by a representative of the body issuing the document.

    20. Although the preferred language is English, phytosanitary certificates may be accepted in one of the IPPC recognised languages under the ISPM 12.

    21. The document must contain the mandatory declaration:

      "This is to certify that the plants, plant products or other regulated articles described herein have been inspected and/or tested according to appropriate official procedures and are considered to be free from the quarantine pests specified by the importing contracting party and to conform with the current phytosanitary requirements of the importing contracting party, including those for regulated non-quarantine pests."

    22. The certificate must contain the official seal, stamp or mark identifying the issuing NPPO.

  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. Endorsed - All documents must be endorsed by a representative of the organisation or corporation issuing the document. An endorsement must:

    1. be an acceptable signature or stamp as defined in the Definitions section of this policy

    2. appear after the information that the signatory is endorsing.

    Where a document has noted attachments, the endorsement can be made before the attachments.

  8. 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.

Warnings and Information Notices

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

Note: Government certification received via the e-Cert system for imported cargo is excluded from the documentation requirements outlined in the Minimum Documentary and Import Declaration Requirements Policy and Non-Commodity Information Requirements Policy.

Related Information:

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry | © Commonwealth of Australia | Accessibility | Privacy | Conditions of Use | Department Feedback |