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Alerts provide information about significant changes to import conditions. Keep informed of alerts by following individual import cases.

Transition towards new government health certificates

Effective from 14 July 2020

The department is currently amending import permit conditions, and thereby associated health certificate statements, for dairy products from approved countries. This includes:

These amendments only apply to import permits for dairy products for which freedom from foot and mouth disease and/or lumpy skin disease and/or sheep pox and goat pox is required.

What is changing:

Health certificate statements regarding the disease freedom status of the countries of origin and manufacture will no longer rely on OIE recognition, or adherence to OIE standards. Instead, health certificates will need to state that countries are:
approved by the Director of Biosecurity as free from foot and mouth disease and/or lumpy skin disease and/or sheep pox and goat pox.
[The permit will specify the relevant diseases.]

Disease-free Country Lists are prepared by the Director of Biosecurity and published on the Agriculture Department’s website.

Health certificates for bovine dairy products (excluding cheese) will also require a statement regarding the lumpy skin disease status of the country of manufacture. Specifically, certificates must include a statement that:
the dairy ingredients were manufactured in countries which is/are approved by the Australian Director of Biosecurity as free from lumpy skin disease.

Further minor changes, relating to the formatting and phrasing of conditions, are also being made.

Why are we making the changes:

The department maintains its own disease-free country lists for foot and mouth disease, lumpy skin disease, and sheep pox and goat pox. Despite maintaining and assessing against these lists, import conditions and associated health certificates have relied on OIE recognition, or adherence to OIE requirements, for freedom from these diseases.

These amendments ensure that permit conditions more accurately reflect current policies and procedures, and are effective at managing biosecurity risks.

What does this mean for importers:

There is no action required. The department has been assessing against its own disease-free country lists for a number of years. As such, there will be no change to the assessment or issuance of import permits. The department does not anticipate any adverse effects on importers or trade.

Import permits with the old statements will still be valid until their expiry date, and the department will continue to accept existing health certificate statements until 1 August 2022.

Please note:

An updated BICON alert will be released when this transition is complete.

Who does this alert affect:

Importers of bovine dairy and Assessment Services Group.

Further information:

Please contact the Animal and Biological Imports Branch on 1800 900 090 or email

This Alert applies to the following Cases:

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