export documentation compliance

International trade is an extremely complex process. The exporting country needs to devise and implement certain rules to ensure that the set standards are met without any compromise. At the same time, there are organizations that are assigned responsibilities to perform multiple checks at different stages to prevent any kind of disobedience with the rules and laws. An important part of the process is export documentation compliance which must be done according to the prescribed procedures.

As an exporter, you need to act responsibly while preparing every important trade documents, failing which may lead to dire consequences like legal actions, penalties, consignment delays, profit losses and blemished business reputation. Here are some important things to know in order to ensure compliant export documents.

Assign Responsibilities Carefully

You may choose to hire an agent or a person from your organization to supervise the process of export documentation. The person would be ethically and legally responsible for every detail in the documents and also for the documents’ accuracy and adherence to the prescribed formats. Make sure to:

  • Choose an experienced person who is familiar with export regulations
  • Assign the responsibility to the same person for every consignment
  • Keep a check that the person understands the documents before signing


It would be great if the person is trained in the entire process as it would help you save time and efforts in a big way.

Nature and Quality of Export Goods

The Australian Border Force maintains an elaborated list of prohibited and dangerous goods that are allowed for export through set procedures only. For example, if you want to export Australian native species of plants and animals, you must obtain an export permit from the Department of Environment and Energy.

Likewise, if you want to export plants and animals products from Australia, you must obtain phytosanitary/health certificates from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR). These documents should comply with:

  • Australia’s Export Control Act of 1982
  • Importing country requirements

In order to ensure that these compliance requirements are met, the DAWR implements a procedure of inspecting the goods intended for export. One of the purposes of these inspections is to ensure that the goods are export quality compliant and have been grown, prepared or processed in the recommended environments.

Compliance with the FTAs

Preparing documents that are compliant with the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) between Australia and other countries is in favour of the exporters. These FTAs list goods that can be traded at preferential rates (reduced tariffs) that add to the profits or the exporters. In order to enjoy these benefits, a certificate of origin certifying that the goods intended for export are prepared or manufactured in Australia must be obtained from one of the Chambers of Commerce.

An international trade software can be extremely useful in establishing compliance in the above-mentioned and many other ways. The mistakes that you are probable of committing while following manual documentation can be dramatically reduced with the help of one such tool.

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