AniMark has been working closely with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to outline a clear roadmap and timelines for the approval of LGAP under proposed Third Party Providers of Assurance (TPPA) arrangements.
Amendments to legislation are needed to allow for third-party providers to help exporters meet their ESCAS compliance obligations, and these are currently expected to come into effect under the Export Control Act 2020 on 28 March 2021.
In the meantime, the department is finalising an interim 'administration arrangement' to allow an LGAP audit checklist to be used as part of the usual ESCAS compliance documents.
The department has also set up a working group to make sure operational issues are considered and exporters are clear on how the system will work – including what current processes LGAP will replace.
Representatives of the department, AniMark and LiveCorp, along with some exporters, will meet regularly over coming months. Their activities will include:
examining the feasibility of supply chains operating with both ESCAS and LGAP-approved facilities
clearly understanding roles and responsibilities in the management of non-conformities complaints and investigations once LGAP is implemented
working through scenarios to test any recommendations and policies being developed
identifying any emerging issues related to the administration of ESCAS and LGAP.
AniMark is continuing to roll out free online training to anyone in the industry wanting to understand how to adopt LGAP and conform to its Standards.
But to get a more hands-on experience, exporters and participants in their supply chains are being encouraged to participate in a trial of the audit process.
Teams of auditors are trained and ready to put their new skills to the test, particularly in Indonesia and Vietnam. It is anticipated that the LGAP audit checklist provided at the end of the trial can be used in lieu of the ESCAS audit summary report, as part of an exporter’s ESCAS compliance obligations.
The schedule of fees has also been locked in for the next six months.
It includes a provisional membership category for exporters as a lower cost transitional option, given it may take a year or two for all facilities and operators in an exporters’ supply chain to be certified – which is required before exporters can be audited and become full members themselves.
Provisional members will have access to AniMark’s IT Conformance System, which provides visibility to the audit activity and risk ratings of downstream facilities (under strict confidentiality guidelines and correct permissions).
Feedlots and abattoirs pay a small up-front fee, which gives them access to the IT system, and then audit fees as required.
For the LEP in-market team, the current focus of activity is Indonesia and Vietnam. Once progress has been made there, including with the test audits, attention will turn to Kuwait and other Middle Eastern markets.
Japan was flagged as an initial launch market, but that has been postponed due to technical complications and other market feedback.