Exporting Honey – Important Considerations and Requirements

Exporting Australian Honey

When planning to export Australian honey, there are a few important considerations that you need to research before you get started. You will need to provide AB’s Honey with this information in your Product Specification to ensure we can quote and deliver the product you need, in the way you need it.

Most countries have specific requirements for the import of food and these must be met before the product is permitted entry. Honey, honeycomb and beeswax are no exception. How to export honey from Australia successfully comes down to ensuring your shipment meets all the right specifications.

Australian Honey Exports and Biosecurity

Some countries, including China, have extremely strict biosecurity rules which must be adhered to. Failure to meet these requirements can lead to your stock being destroyed on the docks or returned to you at significant cost. It can also result in you being banned from sending any further shipments.

Working with Customs and Quarantine

You need to liaise with the customs/quarantine departments of the importing country to find out the import requirements. These requirements will form part of your Product Specification which you will need to provide to us in English. It is essential that you check with the customs/quarantine department before you send your shipment as their requirements may have been updated since the last time you sent your product.

You will also need to contact Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Australia to find out what your responsibilities are in Australia and details of paperwork you require.

Some things you may want to include on your Product Specification are tabled below.


Product Name and Description eg Australian Manuka Honey MGO 30+
Size of Packaging eg 250g. Details of the full range of options can be found on our website
Best Before (shelf life) Every country has different requirements regarding the shelf life standard. Do not assume that it is the same as Australia. We approve 4 years, however you may request longer at your own risk.
Storage Conditions How is your product to be stored eg cool dark place, ambient?
Ingredients 100% Australian honey
Allergens Nil (Australian Standards). Other countries may have different requirements.
HMF Is there a maximum HMF level requirement?
Nutritional Information Can be found on our Raw Material specification, however we recommend that you use the Nutritional Panel Calculator at Food Standards FSANZ or complete your own investigations.
Microbiological, Physical, Chemical Properties and Pests.

Examples are pesticide testing; antibiotic testing etc eg Chloramphenicol. Are there heavy metal limits? Details of all items; approved testing methods and Minimum Detection Levels need to be provided.

Does the honey have to be free of American Foul Brood (AFB), European Foul Brood (EFB)? Is there a requirement regarding presence of Small Hive Beetle? 

Regulatory Label compliance

Every country has different label requirements. Some countries require the label to be in English and the language of the importing country. Labels may need to match the import registration as well as the business name. Labels may also need to include particular information. See also Best Before requirements.

For Australia we recommend that when designing your labels that you check that they meet Australian standards at


You will also need to check that health claims (if any) that you make on your labels comply with


GMO status Is there a GMO free requirement?
Certification Are there HALAL, Kosher etc requirements?
Filtration Is there a minimum filtration pore size requirement?

You will also need to contact Department of Agriculture Australia to find out what your responsibilities are in Australia and details of the paperwork you need.

If you have never exported before, this link will assist you with your planning: https://export.business.gov.au/guide-to-exporting 

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm exporting wine / beef / powdered milk, so will the export requirements be the same?

Not necessarily. Every food can have different requirements and it’s the responsibility of the exporting company to find out what they are. Some products have more specifications for export. Honey export carries its own specifications.

What does Ex Works mean?

Ex Works (EXW) is an international trade term that describes when a seller makes a product available at their premises, and the buyer of the product must cover the transport costs

Why do you only provide an Ex Works quote on honey that meets Australian standards?

To assist with your feasibility costings, all our quotes are Ex Works and on honey that meets Australian standards. Upon receipt of your product specification, we can quote with your specifications in mind.

Will my honey's Australian labels be accepted worldwide?

Not necessarily.  Just like import requirements for the actual product, labels need to meet the importing country’s specifications. It can include things like needing to have the native language and importer details, just to name a couple. The relevant customs/quarantine department will be able to assist you with finding out this information.

Does AB's Honey accept international credit card payments?

No. You will need to make payment via bank transfer.

How long will it take me to get my order? I want it next week.

There is a standard 3 week lead time for pallet orders (or smaller), from the date the order, 50% deposit, an order confirmation sheet and all other requested items are received. 

All orders are scheduled in this way. If you are ordering larger quantities we will need to advise what the lead time will be.

Do all countries have import quotas?

Not all countries have import quotas. It is important for you to check this with the relevant departments.


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