The processes set up to export seafood from Australia to China are designed to make it as simple as possible for suppliers to sell their awesome seafood to the world’s fastest growing buyer market. With the China Australia Free Trade Agreement being implemented at the end of last year and online giving easy and transparent access to buyers, cross-border trade between the two countries is encouraged now more than ever.

But there are 5 basic steps of paperwork and registration that Australian seafood suppliers need to complete before starting to export live seafood to China. We’ve outlined them below so you can get started as soon as possible:

1. Register with the AQSIQ

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ) are the regulatory body that handle all international imports into the country and you need to be registered. All you have to do is follow the basic prompts provided here (click here) and they’ll send your approval documents in Chinese.

2. Translate the documents

To go any further, you need to have your Chinese approval documents translated by a recognised agency. The recommended agency to do this is the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI), who specialise in translating documents for commercial purposes.

3. Report with the Australian Department of Agriculture

Once your documents have been translated, they need to be sent to the Australian Department of Agriculture to register you as an exporter. Since all live export products are categorised as ‘Companion Animals’, you can send your documents to

4. Organise your air freight

If you don’t have an already established relationship with a freight-forwarder, you can get in touch with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) who will be able to organise everything you need for air freight.

5. Provide notice of intention to export

The final step is to provide the Australian Department of Agriculture with a notice of intention to export live animals. This should be done no later than 10 days before your goods’ intended departure date. Once you’ve given notice, you’ll be provided the Official Export Ticket and Health Ticket which are essential to both exiting Australia and entering China.

If you’re selling seafood at the online marketplace, these 5 steps are the most complicated part of the export process. Simple, right?

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