Export FAQ

Answers to export FAQ

This export FAQ (frequently asked questions) page is a helpful guide if you have questions about exporting. It is good to know this information as an exporter, whether you are a first-time exporter or not. We include topics such as:

If you need more information or assistance, feel free to ask for help directly by calling us on 1300651233 or sending us a message.

Export FAQ for air freight and sea freight from Australia

Common freight terms and export FAQ

What if the delivery date of my shipment changes?

One of the most important export FAQs we receive is what happens if things are held up or changed.

It is rare that this would happen; however, there is no need to worry if your export shipment is delayed or needs re-shipping. We will contact you via phone and/or email as soon as we are made aware and work out all the adjustments that need to be made to keep your export on track as best as possible. We are here to help you.


The full list of general FAQs is located on the Import FAQ page.

Below are some questions commonly asked by our export customers.

Requirements for export FAQ

Here are some of the things you should know and have (depending on your situation) upon exporting your goods.

Do I need an export licence?

With the exception of certain goods that are prohibited either absolutely or conditionally, export licences are no longer required.

Those goods that do require export licences include the following:

  • Orderly marketing of primary products and commitments under marketing agreements, e.g. meat, wheat and wine.
  • International agreements, e.g. atomic materials and drugs of dependence.
  • Control of quality.
  • Conservation of Australian fauna and items of historical or cultural significance such as Aboriginal artefacts.
  • Utilisation of Australian resources such as mineral ores and merino sheep.

Australian Customs has details of goods that are conditionally prohibited from export and/or which require export permits (or similar export authorisations), and the government departments and agencies issuing the permits. For more information visit the list of controlled goods for export.

How can I use the ‘Australian Made’ logo on my products?

The ‘Australian Made’ logo was launched by the Federal Government in 1986. It is now administered by Australian Made Campaign Limited.

The Australian Made Campaign manages registrations to use the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo as a country of origin certification trade mark for all non-food products. The Australian Made Australian logo is only permitted to be used on products meeting the criteria and have been registered with this not-for-profit organisation. For more information refer to the Australian Made Campaign .

For food products, Country of Origin legislation was introduced in 2016 in order to provide consumers with more information about where products and their ingredients come from. Based on an extensive survey foods have been grouped into priority and non-priority foods, each with different labelling requirements. The ‘Australian Made’ symbol has been retained as part of the new logo format. For more information about Country of Origin Labelling for food products visit the Australian Consumer and Competition.

What is ISPM15?

Find out about ISPM15.

What is our number two export FAQ?

Queries from first-time exporters who find it confusing to interpret if an export licence is required for their product.

Our skilled team can help you classify all the products you export so your understand when an export licence is needed.

Export requirements

What is our number three export FAQ?

We often get asked ‘Is there any requirement to label my product?’. The answer depends very much on what your product is and how it will be used.

It is critical that your documentation matches the goods you are exporting and there may be a need to label the product to meet the receiving countries legal requirements.

The globally recognised Australian Made logo

Specific export FAQ and terms

What is Pre Receival Advice (PRA)?

Also known as Export Receival Advice (ERA), this is an electronic document.

This advice informs a shipping terminal that a container for export is scheduled to arrive before the container arrives at the terminal. It is a mandatory requirement for exporters to advise the receiving terminal of the shipment details prior to docking.

This can be produced within 25 to 30 minutes.

What is an Export Declaration Number (EDN)?

The purpose of this process is to provide Customs with details about goods you intend to export. When you provide these details to the Australian Customs Service’s Integrated Cargo System (ICS), they will in return provide you with an EDN as confirmation of acceptance.

The EDN is comprised of 9 alphanumeric characters. Please note that you have the option of lodging this declaration up to 6 months ahead of the actual time the goods will be exported.

When received, you will note that the EDN report for a single item will have only a header that shows the specifics about the export shipment. If multiple items are shipped, the EDN will show a header and seperate lines that describe each part of the shipment.

Talk to us, we can easily produce this for you in 10 – 15 minutes.

What is a Single Entry Window RFP (SEW)?

Many of our clients use this facility as it saves both time and money for all their export requirements. Our agency is registered to use SEWs and can submit one on your behalf.

A SEW [Single Electronic Window style of RFP] is a combination of an RFP and an EDN where AQIS acts as an agent to obtain the EDN from Customs when the SEW is submitted to EXDOC. Some additional information that is required by Customs, like FOB value and AHECC classification, is also required when a SEW is submitted.

This, however, is only possible if – and only if – you are registered with Customs as an Exporter, and if your company and ABN number are registered for exports with Customs.

What is a Request For Permit (RFP)?

The purpose of this process is to provide the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) with details about goods such as:

  • Processing location and date
  • Destination of export
  • Consignor
  • Consignee
  • Method of transportation

It is the responsibility of the exporter provide this however, if you are registered with EXDOC as an exporter you can organise for an agent (such as ourselves) to lodge RFPs with EXDOC on your behalf.

When authorised by AQIS an Export Permit Number [EPN] is provided which allows the export of the goods.

If you need help with an RFP, call toll free on 1300651233. We are happy to help you out and give advice.

What is our number four export FAQ?

Customers often ask us ‘Where do I start?’

It can seem overwhelming the first time, especially if you have a large item or urgent time frame. Just know that the process does not have to be difficult. Give us a call and we can talk you through each step in language you understand.

Check out the 6 step export guide

How long will it take to obtain my export documents?

If you are exporting goods infrequently you will likely not be registered with EXDOC. In this case we would recommend using Syscob EDI Agency service to generate your export documentation.

If all data is correct and valid a RFP will naturally take the shortest amount of time to reach ‘Complete’ status, however, because the goods have to be inspected and the RFP validated it can take some time before the certificate can be printed. This inspection is arranged by the exporter with AQIS or an AQIS authorised establishment; depending on inspection availability and the authorisation process validation could vary from under one day to many.

The length of time you need to allow to receive approved export documentation when using Syscob EDI Agency Service varies. The completeness and accuracy of the information provided by the exporter is the main driver of delays as the Border Security officers work to set service turnaround times. It is generally a fairly quick process if all required information is provided and correct. Errors or missing information will need to be amended and require re-submission which can lengthen the time taken for inspection to be completed.

Do you have other questions not on this list? Our team is happy to assist. Call us toll free on 1300651233

What is our number five export FAQ?

‘I am being asked for a document …?’ One of  the most urgent requests we get is for missing documentation.

Find out what you need to complete and what you need from other parties up front to avoid any last minute rushing around. Call us at FFQO or send a message for help.

Need help on export FAQ requirements?