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New Export Legislation for Organic Produce

The Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) have published the Consultation Draft Export Control (Organic Goods) Rules, 2020.

The new Organic Rules will set out the requirements that must be met to export organic goods from Australia, and will replace the old Export Control Orders. DAWE are seeking comment from industry on this new Draft, with submissions closing on August 7th.

Australian Organic Ltd (AOL) has reviewed the Draft, and sought feedback from industry stakeholders.

Overall, we support the new Draft Rules, as they align well with our submission to the review in 2018, and we believe the new Rules will address some of the challenges our industry has faced with regard to the outgoing Organic Orders.

“We applaud the Department on the proposed rules, and in particular the recognition of the National Standard as the export organic standard,” said Australian Organic Ltd CEO Niki Ford.

“We also commend them for their sound and sensible work on the new Draft Rules for Organic Goods, which have been written to align with the new Export Control Act for goods exported out of Australia.

“These rules will pave the way for significant cost savings for industry through their allowance for electronic export certificates and the appointment of external auditors.”

AOL particularly supports the following aspects of the new Draft Rules:

  • The maintenance of strict regulation for exports of organic produce.
  • The specific referencing of the National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce within the Rules. This ensures there is no confusion as to which standard may be applied. It also paves the way for sensible and consistent overlaying of the National Standard into the domestic regulation, which has received support from DAWE, and the National Farmers’ Federation.
  • The exclusion of organic cosmetics from prescribed goods classification, unless the destination market requires it.
  • The inclusion of an allowance for granting specific exceptions, with case-by-case DAWE approval.

A teleconference with DAWE is confirmed to be taking place next week, where we will be raising some questions regarding certain technical aspects of the Draft.

AOL will then make a submission on behalf of our members and industry.

If you wish to discuss the Draft and how it might affect your business, please feel free to contact our Chief Technical Officer, Owen Gwilliam.