In 2015, the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) reviewed the relevance and efficiency of laws regulating organic exports. They have now published the Consultation Draft Export Control (Organic Goods) Rules 2020.
The proposed rules aim to streamline regulations while maintaining strict standards for organic goods. They will replace old Export Control (Organic Produce Certification) Orders from 1 April 2021 onward.
From 2012 to 2018, there has been a 42% compound annual growth rate in Australian organic exports to $717 million. New rules look to continue this sizeable growth.
According to Fran Freeman, Head of the Exports Division at DAWE, “We’re aiming to simplify these regulations and maximise market access opportunities for Australian producers and manufacturers, through efficient regulation.”
The draft recognises the National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce as the export organic standard. This will reduce confusion over which standard applies.
It also aligns with Australia’s new Export Control Act 2020, ensuring consistency between the regulation of organic exports and other exported agricultural goods.
Organic exporters will further benefit from simplified regulatory systems, and improved access to department resources. These issues were raised in the initial review by Australian Organic, who commended the proposed rules.
Australian Organic stated “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.”
DAWE is accepting comments on the draft rules via their Have Your Say portal until 7 August 2020.