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Australia's meat trade with Japan goes electronic

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DPIE98/27A 24 March 1998

Certification that confirms the high quality of Australian meat shipped to Japan will be transmitted electronically as from today.

Announcing the breakthrough in Canberra, Minister for Primary Industries and Energy John Anderson said the new system will have immediate benefits for Australian producers and exporters, as well as for our customers overseas.

" The new electronic health certificate, called SANCRT [ pronounced 'San-Cert'] will eventually replace most of the 120,000 paper health certificates produced each year by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) to confirm the safety and quality of Australia's export commodities," Mr

Anderson said.

" This development is an important and significant boost for the Government's 'Supermarket to Asia' trade strategy," Mr Anderson said.

" The system will initially be used for meat exports, but AQIS is working with dairy, grains, seafood and horticulture exporters to extend SANCRT to those commodities."

SANCRT was developed jointly by AQIS and accepted by the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, which entered into an arrangement last year to pilot the use of

electronic certification.

Japan's commitment to the early implementation of SANCRT was reinforced during Mr Anderson's visit to Japan in July-August last year, where he received strong endorsement from both Ministries.

" We've already had strong indications that other major meat trading countries will also adopt SANCRT following Japan's example, and we expect its use will be extended to other commodities," Mr Anderson said.

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Parliament House. Canberra ACT 2600 Tel: (06) 277 7520 Fax: (06) 273 4 120


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" Electronic certification is to everyone's benefit. It makes our export meat trade more efficient by removing the need for paper certificates to be couriered to government agencies in overseas ports of entry. It enables us to track commodities and enhances their security, removing the risk of forged documentation.

" Most importantly, SANCRT will help ensure that overseas consumers can have total confidence in the quality and reputation of Australian produce."

AQIS expects to transmit some 36,000 SANCRTs to Japan over the next 12 months. They will be generated by an electronic system developed by AQIS in partnership with Australian meat exporters.

Media contacts: Robert Haynes Jon Christian Mr Anderson's office (02)6277 7520 or 0419 493 511

AQIS (02) 6272 5478