THE AUSTRALIAN Parliament has passed an amendment bill that aims to simplify administrative processes for exporters.

The Export Control Amendment (Streamlining Administrative Processes) Bill 2022 was brought before parliament to amend the Export Control Act 2020, which provides the regulatory framework for exporting goods including a range of agricultural commodities.

The amendment set out to allow better information management, cut administrative red tape and clarify the intent of the 2020 act.

“It is vital that export control legislation remains current and fit for purpose, keeping step with developments in importing country requirements, changing regulatory objectives and industry practice advancements,” federal transport minister Catherine King said at the second reading of the bill in November last year.

“This bill will achieve this by making information-sharing provisions within the export control legislation more flexible,” she said.

“It will support the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to streamline complex administrative and authorisation processes to access and utilise the export control information that it already holds, such as trade statistics, industry information and market intelligence.”

Federal minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry Murray Watt said on Wednesday that the change to export laws would streamline the export process.

“These changes will allow relevant information to be efficiently shared with regulatory partners, exporters and other key stakeholders,” Mr Watt said.

“The changes will make it easier for businesses to export their products by cutting down on administrative red tape and providing improved delivery of services.”

Mr Watt said the federal government intends to improve the ability to use and disclose export control information, where appropriate, to help facilitate growth and innovation in agricultural export industries.

“More efficient access to information benefits exporters and other stakeholders and will allow Australia to maintain its competitive edge by building better market intelligence,” he said.

“We will continue working with stakeholders to ensure that our export systems remain effective and fit for purpose.”

Mr Watt noted the amendments are in line with the government’s reform agenda, including the Simplified Trade System.

He said they also align with recent amendments to the Biosecurity Act 2015, which aim to provide consistency and predictability for stakeholders under legislative frameworks regulating the agriculture supply chain.

Export control legislation is regularly reviewed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to ensure it remains up to date with developments in international markets, regulatory changes, and industry practice advancements.