When do you need an export licence?
The Export Control Act 2020, and the Export Control (Wood and Woodchips Rules) 2021 that fall under this Act, requires an export licence from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment for two tonnes or more of prescribed wood and woodchips.
These wood and woodchips are prescribed goods, and require a wood export licence for the purposes of the Act:
- wood in the round
- wood with a cross-sectional area of at least 225 square centimetres
Prescribed goods will be prohibited from export unless they comply with prescribed export requirements and conditions.
When do you not need an export licence?
- If wood or woodchips are sourced from an area covered by a Regional Forest Agreement.
- If wood or woodchips are sourced from a plantation.
- If the wood or woodchips are shipped in a consignment of less than 2 tonnes.
Possible importing country requirements
Some forest products may require an inspection for which a phytosanitary certificate or any other official certificate is required by an importing country. It is your responsibility as an exporter to find out the importing country’s requirements prior to export. For further information regarding phytosanitary certificates or importing country requirements, please visit the Exporting Plants and Plant Products page.
Wood export licence applications
To be granted a wood export licence by the department, you will need to supply the following documents:
- A completed application form
- Including a declaration that the wood or woodchips intended for export have been harvested in compliance with Australian Government and state environmental requirements.
- Copies of all relevant state government-issued documentation that authorises the harvest and sale of the wood (such as harvesting licences, clearing licences and sales permits). This is required as evidence that the wood has been legally harvested.
- A copy of documentation relating to the overseas purchase (for example, a sales receipt, a confirmation of order, a letter of intent to buy or a tax invoice).
Applications and documentation can be sent to the department via email or postal mail. The department has a legislated 30 day consideration period for assessing a wood export licence application, although we aim to assess completed applications within 2 weeks.
Note: If you send your application by email, please retain your original signed application.
Licences are typically issued per shipment. If you require a licence to cover multiple shipments (for example, if you have three or more shipments in a month), please contact the Export Licensing Officer to discuss.
If all the required documentation is not provided or the application is incomplete, your application cannot be processed.
How do I get the relevant state-issued permits to harvest and sell my wood?
Export licences issued by the department are not the same as harvesting and selling licences issued by a state. The department has no involvement in state-issued licences, but does require an exporter to have this documentation in order to be granted a wood export licence.
The department requires all relevant state issued harvesting licences and/or permits to grant an export licence but is not involved in their issuing. You must contact the relevant state authority.
New South Wales – NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Queensland – Department of Resources
Queensland – Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
South Australia – Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA
Western Australia – Department of Biodiversity, Conversation and Attractions
Western Australia – Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
Tasmania – Forest Practices Authority
Australian Capital Territory – Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate - Environment
Northern Territory - Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security
If you have a number of shipments where the wood is sourced under the same state issued harvesting permit and going to the same buyer, please contact the Export Licensing Officer.
|Application for a licence to export wood or woodchips PDF||6||386 KB|
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Further information can be obtained from the Export Licensing Officer at:
Agvet Chemicals and Forestry Branch
Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
18 Marcus Clarke Street
Canberra City ACT 2601
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Phone: 02 6272 4353
Email: Wood Export
Questions and answers – General
What legislation are export licences issued under?
The Export Control Act 2020 has a number of regulations covering wood export licensing:
- Sets out the overarching legislative framework for the regulation of exported goods, including food and agricultural products, from Australian territory.
- Details the requirements and establishes conditions relating to the export of prescribed wood and woodchips.
How much will it cost me to get a licence?
There is no cost for a licence.
How long does it take to process my application?
The legislated period for an application is 30 days, which starts the day after we receive the application. We aim to assess completed applications within 2 weeks.
Why do I have to supply sale documents?
The department must be satisfied that the wood being exported has an intended purpose and market.
What sales documents are acceptable?
Examples of acceptable documentation may be a sales receipt, a confirmation of order, a letter of intent to buy or a tax invoice.
How can I submit my application?
Applications and documentation can be sent to the department via postal mail or email Wood Export.
If you send your application by email, please retain your original signed application. The minister may request the original signed documents or require you to retain the original documents for a specified period.