How does the NLIS work?

How NLIS works

25 June 2024

Traceability through the Supply Chain

As animals are bought, sold and moved along the supply chain, they must be tagged with an NLIS accredited tag or device from their property (PIC) of birth. In most cases this tag will remain with the animal for their entire life and it is illegal to remove this tag.

If tags are lost or become defective then a new tag can be applied, however if the animal is no longer at its place of birth then a ‘post breeder’ tag must be used. This indicates that the animal no longer has ‘lifetime’ traceability.

All animals leaving a PIC must be identified with an NLIS accredited device before moving, unless a permit is obtained from the state or territory. Each movement they make to a location with a different PIC must be recorded centrally on the NLIS database by people with NLIS accounts. NLIS accounts are free to open and operate.

Using this information, the NLIS is able to provide a life history of an animal's movements and discern if contact with other livestock occurred. The NLIS is required to facilitate the traceability of animals in accordance with the National Traceability and Performance Standards.

How to set up and use your NLIS account 

  1. Obtain a Property Identification Code (PIC)
  2. Register for an NLIS account
  3. Order NLIS devices. Contact your State or Territory Department of Agriculture to find out the process for ordering tags in
  4. Apply NLIS devices to your livestock
  5. Record livestock movements onto and off your property (PIC)
  6. See information about your NLIS transactions.

Need NLIS Technical Support? 

If you're receiving warning emails, having issues with the NLIS database or are having trouble logging in, check out the support information available.

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You can register for an NLIS account on the NLIS website.

Once submitted, your account request will need to be approved. This process can take up to seven days. After your request is approved, you will receive your NLIS user ID and password via email.

You should contact your state department for agriculture about:

  • PIC registration
  • Ordering NLIS devices
  • Livestock movement requirements
  • NLIS compliance, including timeframes for completing transfers on the database

Visit this webpage to view state and territory contact details.

To add or remove a property from your NLIS account, contact the ISC helpdesk at and supply your NLIS user ID and the PIC you would like added or removed from your account.

If you have livestock on agistment, you can request to link the agistment PIC to your existing NLIS account. A third-party authorisation form will need to be completed and returned to ISC to achieve this. To access this form, call the ISC Customer Service Centre on 1800 683 111 or email

Hobby farmers and NLIS

Hobby farmers must register livestock movements on the NLIS database, regardless of the property size or the number of animals on the property.