All imported foods
Remaking of the Imported Food Control Regulations, Exposure Draft of the Imported Food Control Regulations 2019, Exposure Draft of the Imported Food Control Regulations 2019 Explanatory Notes. Language(s): English. Number of pages: 2, 28, 11
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) is remaking the Imported Food Control Regulations (the Regulations). The Imported Food Control Regulations are made under the Imported Food Control Act 1992 and are part of the legislative framework for the importation of food for commercial purposes into Australia.
Currently the Regulations:
- establish and set out the operation of the Imported Food Inspection Scheme (the Scheme);
- enable the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources to make Orders that classify imported foods and determine how these foods are selected for inspection, or inspection and analysis under the Scheme;
- set out provisions for application of:
o food control certificates;
o defining when a food is a failing food;
o chargeable service fees for assessing imported food at the border.
Sunsetting changes to the Regulations
Under Australian law, all regulations sunset which means they are automatically repealed and cease to be law.
We have designed these draft changes to remake the Regulations so they continue to be law and to simplify the administration of the Scheme. These changes reflect best practice regulation, and will enable the Scheme to be more flexible and responsive to changing trade in food.
Changes in the draft Regulations will:
- Permit the use of recognised quality assurance certificates for the importation of some risk-classified foods. This is an alternative to mandatory foreign government certification requirements;
- Amend weights and volumes of food for private consumption (exempt from the Scheme) to 1kg in weight or 1L in volume;
- Amend the allowance of prohibited plants and fungi for private consumption to 0kg, to manage risks to human health;
- Amend the inspection rate applied when food inspected at the reduced rate of 5% is identified as a failing food, the inspection rate returns to the tightened rate of 100%;
- Formalise the power of authorised officers to request information about a food so that the food can be correctly inspected or inspected and analysed under the Scheme.
Changes reflecting the Imported Food Control Amendment Act
The Imported Food Control Amendment Act 2018 amended the Imported Food Control Act 1992. Under the amended law, Australia can better manage imported food safety risks and meet international trading obligations. A previous SPS notification on these changes was provided in March 2017 (G/SPS/N/AUS/416).
The drafted Regulations reflect the changes in the law, and will allow the department to:
- Require importers to provide a food safety management certificate, showing that producers have certified food safety controls to manage safety hazards (for certain foods). The department will consult with industry before imposing this requirement;
- Establish variable rates of inspection or inspection and analysis, where there is uncertainty about the safety of a particular food;
- Reduce the inspection rate for food imported from a country that has a food safety regulatory system recognised as equivalent to Australia's food safety system.
Read more about the Imported Food Control Amendment Act (http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/goods/food/reform).