Australia is getting a new legislative framework for agricultural exports on 28 March 2021. Together, the Export Control Act 2020 and Export Control Rules 2021 streamline existing export requirements that were previously across 20 Acts and 40 pieces of legislation.

If you are involved in exporting plants and plant products, the Export Control (Plants and Plant Products) Rules 2021 set out the specific requirements you need to follow. More simply known as the plant rules, they replace the current Plant and Plant Product Orders.

The new legislation is easier to understand and use. It will continue to achieve the same regulatory outcomes that are expected by Australia’s trading partners.

The new legislation looks different, but it is not designed to add regulatory burden or change how industry do business in the short term. In the longer term it will support our plant industries to innovate and pursue opportunities for efficiency.

For export businesses, the changeover should be simple. All existing legislative approvals will automatically transition when the new legislation begins.

This includes accredited properties, registered establishments, authorised officer appointments, export permits, government certificates (such as phytosanitary certificates), product inspection records, treatment supervision records, container approvals and bulk vessel approvals.

There are some key changes you should be aware of as we transition to the new legislation. These include updates to policy, IT systems and forms. You can find more information on these changes and what the new plant export legislation means for you at