Client service standards

We are committed to improving our service delivery to better meet our clients’ needs.

Our department was established on 1 February 2020. Before this, we were the:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of the Environment and Energy (Environment portfolio)

These standards refer to the work of the former Department of Agriculture.

Our commitment

Our client service standards have been developed to ensure we are meeting client expectations and are delivering our services within agreed time frames.

The standards outlined here describe how our clients can expect requests for information or services to be progressed by the department. These include:

  • client contact services
  • import-specific services
  • export-specific services
  • livestock export-specific services

They also set out what is expected of our clients.

We are committed to providing quality services and regularly reviewing our service standards. Our client contact performance report provides a quarterly update of how we are performing against these standards.

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Client contact services

Calls to our national contact number

This standard applies if you contact us through the national contact number: 1800 900 090

We will:

  • answer your call within 2 minutes.

Your obligations

You must be respectful and honest when talking to us.

Service target

80% of calls are answered within our service standard.

Online general enquiries form

This standard applies to enquiries made through this contact form: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/general-inquiries

We will:

  • immediately confirm we have received your enquiry
  • respond to your request within 10 business days

If we cannot fully answer your query in that time we will let you know when to expect a complete response.

Wherever possible, we will respond earlier. Some services have specific service standards. These include permits and grant applications.

Your obligations

You need to provide:

  • detailed and relevant information with your enquiry
  • your contact details

Service target

80% of requests are answered within our service standard.

Import services

Goods inspection at an approved premises

We will provide this service within 3 business days of confirmation of your scheduled appointment.

We may be delayed by significant short-term increases in trade activity. During these periods, we will contact you to find a mutually suitable time for your appointment.

Your obligations

You must:

  • have goods ready for inspection before booking an inspection
  • provide us with all associated documentation before confirming your appointment

Measure of success

95% of inspections to be provided within our service standard.

Treatments

We will provide your or your representative with treatment direction within 2 business days after an inspection.

The time we take to process your goods depends on the nature of treatment or the mandatory duration of quarantine periods.

Your obligations

If we advise you to treat your goods during an inspection, you must decide whether to proceed with the treatment.

If we don’t provide advice during an inspection, you must provide us with contact details.

Measure of success

95% of treatments are conducted within our service standard.

Non-commercial vessel inspection

  • If you are arriving at a port where we have a permanent staff presence, we will provide an initial inspection within 1 business day from you advising us of your arrival.
  • There may be delays during periods of increased arrivals, such as regattas.

Your obligations

You must:

  • be available and have your vessel ready for inspection when we arrive
  • send us all relevant documents before the inspection

Measure of success

95% of inspections to be provided within our service standard.

Import documents lodged via COLS

If we receive an urgent lodgement from you, we will process it within 1 business day.

We will process non-urgent lodgement within 2 business days of receiving it.

We may take longer to process lodgements if:

  • they need policy advice
  • you have provided incomplete or incorrect information
  • we need more information to continue the assessment (we will notify you if this happens)

Your obligations

You may need to promptly provide extra information so we can continue assessing. This may include evidence to support your request to classify your freight as urgent.

Measure of success

80% of assessments are processed within our service standard.

Import documents lodged by email

We will process your lodgement within 3 business day of receiving it.

We may take longer to process lodgements if:

  • they need policy advice
  • you have provided incomplete or incorrect information
  • we need more information to continue the assessment (we will notify you if this happens)

See what lodgements can be submitted and processed by email.

Your obligations

You may need to promptly provide extra information so we can continue assessing. This may include evidence to support your request to classify your freight as urgent.

Measure of success

80% of assessments are processed within our service standard.

Visiting our offices to clear imported or exported goods

We will attend to you within 30 minutes of you arriving at the office during business hours. There may be a delay during peak times in our larger offices.

You can expect to meet with one of our officers for about 15 minutes for each standard transaction.

See what lodgements can be submitted and processed by email.

We prioritise urgent and non-commercial client personal effects.

Your obligations

You may need to promptly provide extra information so we can continue assessing. This may include evidence to support your request to classify your freight as urgent.

You will need to bring valid documents with you.

Measure of success

80% of clearances are processed within our service standard.

Import permits through BICON

We will issue import permits within 20 business days of receiving payment and a completed application.

We may take longer if:

  • your application needs technical assessment
  • you have provided incomplete or incorrect information
  • we need more information to continue the assessment (we will notify you if this happens)
  • it is a novel product or has been prepared in a novel manner

Your obligations

You may need to promptly provide extra information so we can continue assessing.

Measure of success

90% of import permits are issued within our service standard.

Export services

Goods inspection at an export-registered establishment

An officer will inspect your goods within 3 business days of you requesting an appointment.

Inspection times are based on availability. We may be able to inspect your goods earlier.

Your obligations

You must provide a Notice of Intention to export when you book an inspection. You can provide either:

  • an electronic Request for Permit through EXDOC
  • a manual Notice of Intention (EX28)

We can only conduct an inspection at your establishment if your Request for Permit meets MICOR requirements.

Measure of success

95% of inspections are provided within our service standard.

Goods inspection for air freight exports

We will inspect your goods within 24 hours of you requesting an appointment.

There may be delays during periods of increased trade activity.

Your obligations

You must lodge a Request for Permit before booking an inspection. We can only inspect your goods if the Request for Permit meets MICOR requirements.

Measure of success

95% of inspections are provided within our service standard.

Goods inspection for sea freight exports

We will inspect your goods within 3 business days of you requesting an appointment.

There may be delays during periods of increased trade activity.

Your obligations

You must lodge a Request for Permit before booking an inspection. We can only inspect your goods if the Request for Permit meets MICOR requirements.

Measure of success

95% of inspections are provided within our service standard.

Bulk vessels for export inspection

We will inspect your vessel within 3 business days of a confirmed appointment.

Your obligations

You must lodge a Request for Permit before booking an inspection. We can only inspect your goods if the Request for Permit meets MICOR requirements.

Measure of success

95% of inspections are provided within our service standard.

Export documents

We will process your lodgement within:

  • 1 business day for air freight
  • 3 business days for sea freight

Your obligations

You must submit electronic (RFP) and manual templates. These must be correctly completed and include any relevant supporting documentation and evidence.

Measure of success

95% of assessments are processed within our service standard.

Applying to become a plant export authorised officer

We will assess your application within 15 business days of receiving payment and a completed application.

Your obligations

You must pay the application fee before we can process your application.

Measure of success

90% of application assessments are processed within our service standard.

Deed of Obligations for plant export authorised officers

If you have been assessed as competent, we will issue an invoice for an appointment fee within 10 business days.

Your obligations

You must pay the appointment fee before we can send you a Deed of Obligations.

Measure of success

90% of requests are processed within our service standard.

Entrustment of appointment for plant export authorised officers

We will provide you with an instrument of appointment within 10 business days of receiving:

  • all completed training, assessment and related documents
  • payment for all fees

Your obligations

You must:

  • provide all training, assessment and related documents
  • pay all fees

Measure of success

90% of Instruments of Appointment are issued within our service standard.

Operational enquiries

The Canberra office phone number is 02 6272 4581 and email livestockexp@awe.gov.au Operating hours are 08:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday.

Regional contact details

All livestock phone enquiries should be directed to 1800 900 090 or (61 3) 8318 670 (outside Australia) or the relevant regional office email:

South East region VIC & TAS (Melbourne) - SEAnimal@awe.gov.au
NT (Darwin) – animalexpnoint@awe.gov.au
WA (Perth) -  animalswa@awe.gov.au
SA (Adelaide) -  animalexpnoisa@awe.gov.au
North QLD (Cairns) – animalexpnoifnqld@awe.gov.au
Northeast QLD (Townsville) – animalstsv@awe.gov.au
QLD (Brisbane) – animalsqld@awe.gov.au
NSW (Sydney) - animalexpnoinsw@awe.gov.au

All livestock operational enquiries should be directed to the regional contacts as listed. Applications and supporting documentation to export livestock must be lodged on TRACE. All other livestock applications should be sent to livestockexp@awe.gov.au

Live Animal Export

Inspection of goods – registered establishment, approved premises, airside or vessel

We will:

  • service an appointment made 3 business days prior to the required inspection
  • only conduct inspections in well-lit areas

Wherever reasonable, we will seek to accommodate bookings and changes made inside the 3 business days period. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to service this request.

Fees may apply for changing or cancelling an appointment/inspection as per the current charging guidelines.

Your obligations

You must:

  • make an appointment for livestock inspection at least 3 business days prior to inspection
  • for external areas without sufficient artificial lighting, ensure that the inspection location is well lit during  the period from one hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset
  • change or cancel an appointment at least 1 business day before it’s due to take place. This does not include weekends and public holidays. For example, you must cancel a 1pm booking on a Monday no later than 1pm on a Friday

Service target

95% of inspections are conducted within our service standard.

Assess/issue export documents for live animals

We will:

  • assess your documents during our standard hours of service (6:30am to 6:30pm)
  • advise you as soon as practical if there are missing, incomplete, incorrect or ineligible documents

Your obligations

You must:

  • provide complete, accurate and legible documents so we can assess your consignment
  • lodge documents using TRACE
  • allow at least 6 hours of assessment time within the hours of service (6:30am to 6:30pm) before a permit or certificate can be issued

Service target

95% export documents are processed within our service standard.

Application for (or renewal of) an export licence or variation of an export licence

We will:

  • assess and decide on your application within 40 business days of receiving it
  • advise you as soon as practical if there are missing, incomplete, incorrect or ineligible documents

Wherever possible, we will respond earlier, however the complexity of the application and the volume of applications being processed will increase processing time.

Your obligations

You will:

  • provide an Export Licence application, variation or renewal that is complete and accurate
  • pay the relevant fee with the application
  • provide the application with sufficient notice to allow the department to process it within the normal period
  • respond to requests for information from the department promptly

Service target

90% of export licences are processed within our service standard.

Registering, varying or renewing a registered establishment

We will:

  • assess and make a decision on your application within 40 business days of receiving it
  • advise you as soon as practical if there are missing, incomplete, incorrect or ineligible documents

Wherever possible, we will respond earlier, however the complexity of the application and the volume of applications being processed will increase processing time.

Your obligations

You must:

  • provide a Registered  Establishment application, variation or renewal that is complete and accurate
  • pay the relevant fee with the application
  • provide the application with sufficient notice to allow the department to process it within the normal period
  • respond to requests for information from the department promptly

Service target

90% of registrations and renewals are processed within our service standard.

Registering Accredited Veterinarians (AAVs) for livestock export

We will:

  • assess and decide on your application within 10 business days of receipt
  • advise you as soon as practical if there are missing, incomplete, incorrect or ineligible documents

Your obligations

You must:

  • provide an AAV application renewal or variation that is complete and accurate
  • pay the relevant fee with the application
  • provide the application with sufficient notice to allow the department to process it within the normal period
  • respond to requests for information from the department promptly

Service target

90% of registrations are processed within our service standard.

Applying for or renewing an approved arrangement and/or approved export program

We will:

  • assess your application, audit your business and decide within 40 business days of receiving it
  • advise you as soon as practical if there are missing, incomplete, incorrect or ineligible documents
  • give you at least 5 business days’ notice of your audit

Your obligations

You must:

  • provide an application that is complete and accurate
  • pay the relevant fee with the application
  • provide the application with sufficient notice to allow the department to process it within the normal period
  • respond to requests for information from the department promptly

Service target

90% of applications are processed within our service standard.

Applying for a variation to an approved arrangement and/or approved export program

We will:

  • assess and decide on your application within 20 business days of receiving it
  • contact you as soon as practical if there are missing, incomplete, incorrect or ineligible documents

Applications for variations which include more than 5 Standard Export Plans (SEP) will wherever possible be assessed and a decision made within 20 business days of receipt.

However, due to the many possible variables and complexities involved, the department reserves the right to vary the time frame according to the quantity and complexity of SEPs.

Your obligations

You must:

  • provide an application that is complete and accurate
  • pay the relevant fee with the application
  • provide the application with sufficient notice to allow the department to process it within the normal period
  • respond to requests for information from the department promptly

Service target

90% of applications are processed within our service standard.

Submitting a Notice of Intention (NOI) without an approved arrangement

  • We will decide on your application within 10 business days of receipt of a complete application. Variations that require reassessment will be assessed and decided on within 7 business days of receipt

Your obligations

You must:

  • lodge an accurate and complete NOI on TRACE at least 10 business days prior to export or commencement of pre-export isolation
  • provide the application with sufficient notice to allow the department to process it within the normal period
  • respond to requests for information from the department promptly

A NOI may be accepted within this period in exceptional circumstances. However, the department cannot guarantee servicing of this request.

Service target

95% of NOIs are processed within our service standard.

Submitting a NOI with an approved arrangement

We will:

  • assess and approve or reject Notices of Intention (NOIs) for consignments under approved arrangements within 3 business days of receipt.

Your obligations

You must:

  • lodge an accurate and complete NOI on TRACE at least 10 business days prior to export or commencement of pre-export isolation
  • provide the application with sufficient notice to allow the department to process it within the normal period
  • respond to requests for information from the department promptly

A NOI may be accepted within this period in exceptional circumstances. However, the department cannot guarantee servicing of this request.

Service target

95% of NOIs are processed within our service standard.

Audits

We will:

  • give you 5 business days’ notice of an audit.

If the proposed date is not convenient, we will work with you to find an alternative date.

You will need to make an alternative date within 20 business days of your original notification. If not, your approved arrangement may be suspended until the audit is conducted.

If less than 24 hours’ notice is given to cancel/reschedule an audit, a fee will apply in line with the Department’s Charging Guidelines.

Your obligations

You must:

  • advise the department promptly if an audit date is not convenient and organise an alternative date within 20 business days of the original notification
  • provide all the necessary resources to allow the department to complete the scope of the audit

Service target

90% of audits are completed within our service standard.

Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) applications and variations

We will assess and decide on your application within 10 business days of receipt of a complete submission.

Your obligations

You must:

  • provide accurate and complete ESCAS applications and variations
  • pay the relevant fee with the application
  • provide the application with sufficient notice to allow the department to process it within the normal period
  • respond to requests for information from the department promptly

Service target

90% or applications and variations are processed within our service standard.

Fees

We will:

  • bill you accurately and within 20 days of providing our service
  • explain how we calculated the bill

Your obligations

You must:

  • pay your account within 28 days
  • promptly contact us if you are unable to pay your account on time

Service target

90% of fees are processed within our service standard.

Non-compliance reported by a third party

We will assess and decide on a reported non-compliance within:

  • 3 months if it involves a single compliance issue for one exporter
  • 6 months if it involves multiple issues or exporters

We will also:

  • provide relevant exporters with details of the allegation
  • advise exporters as soon as practical if there is missing, incomplete or incorrect information
  • advise exporters as soon as practical of any regulatory action/s to be applied as the result of an assessment

Your obligations

You must:

  • make every effort to investigate the circumstances of the allegation
  • once provided with details of the allegation by the department, investigate and respond within 14 days
  • where a full investigation may take longer than the department’s timeframe, provide us with what information you can and advise us when a complete response can be expected
  • promptly respond to requests from the department with accurate and complete information
  • acknowledge non-compliance where it has occurred
  • identify, implement and review corrective actions in a timely manner

Service target

90% of investigations are completed within our service standard.

Self-reported non-compliance

We will:

  • assess and decide on a reported non-compliance within 3 months
  • advise exporters as soon as practical if there is missing, incomplete or incorrect information
  • advise exporters as soon as practical of regulatory action/s to be applied as the result of an assessment

Your obligations

You must:

  • make every effort to investigate the circumstances of the allegation
  • promptly respond to requests from the department with accurate and complete information
  • identify and implement any corrective actions as soon as practical

Service target

90% of non-compliance  are processed within our service standard.

Notifiable Mortality Incidents

Assess and report on a notifiable mortality incident within 6 months. Within the 6-month period the department will:

  • provide relevant exporter with details of the notifiable mortality incident
  • advise exporters as soon as practical if there is missing, incomplete or incorrect information
  • advise exporters as soon as practical of any regulatory action/s to be applied as a result of the assessment

Your obligations

You must:

  • make every effort to investigate the circumstances of the notifiable mortality incident
  • once provided with details of the incident by the department, investigate and respond within 14 days
  • where a full investigation may take longer than the department’s timeframe, provide us with what information you can and advise us when a complete response can be expected
  • promptly respond to requests from the department with accurate and complete information
  • acknowledge non-compliance where it has occurred
  • identify and implement corrective actions in a timely manner

Service target

90% processed within our service standard.

Note: Statutory consideration periods are outlined in the Export Control (Animals) Rules 2021 and are different from the service standards.