The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has created this set of guidelines to assist those wishing to prepare dairy, egg and fish products in Australia for export, as well as those wishing to export the final products.
This guideline sets out the audit regime for export registered dairy, egg and fish establishments.
All export registered establishments must comply with Australia’s export control legislation and document their procedures for compliance in an
Approved Arrangement. The department audits export registered establishments to verify compliance with export legislation. More information on Approved Arrangements and registration and
audit fees is on the department’s website.
For dairy, egg and fish establishments, audit frequency is determined by the type of registered establishment (Table 1). Establishments that undertake higher risk operations are audited more frequently. For example, a manufacturing establishment is audited more frequently than an establishment that only stores product.
Establishments may be subject to additional audits:
- to verify that action has been taken to address non-compliance
- to support an importing country review
- as a result of sanctions.
Audit scope and outcome
Audits are conducted against a defined scope, made up of all or some topics covered in the establishment’s Approved Arrangement. The audit checks and verifies that the controls for each requirement in the Approved Arrangement are in place and effective. All parts of an establishment’s export operations are documented in the establishment’s Approved Arrangement and each topic is audited at least once a year.
If a requirement within the Approved Arrangement is found to be non-compliant, the auditor will issue the establishment with a Corrective Action Request. The establishment must rectify all Corrective Action Requests within a timeframe agreed by the auditor. Additional sanctions and/or audits may be conducted as a result of non-compliance.
Table 1: Risk and audit frequencies for dairy, egg and fish establishments
|Type of establishment ||Risk ||Audit frequency |
|Dairy, fish and egg storage establishments - dry, cool and freezer stores|
Establishments that freeze dairy, fish and egg products
Establishments that hold and pack live fish (other than bivalve molluscs)
Establishments that pack whole egg in shell
|Low ||Annual |
|Establishments that manufacture fish products intended to be cooked or further processed prior to consumption || Medium ||Annual |
| All non-storage dairy establishments|
Fish and egg establishments that manufacture ready-to-eat products
Establishments that manufacture egg and egg products
Establishments that prepare bivalve molluscs
| High || 6 monthly |
Note: For establishments with operations in more than one risk category the higher audit frequency applies.
For dairy processing establishments, audits conducted by the relevant state regulatory authority include both domestic and export requirements.
Audits are given an acceptable or unacceptable outcome and the establishment is issued with a full audit report following the audit.
In addition to an increase in frequency of audits, other sanctions may be applied depending on specific circumstances.
These sanctions include, but are not limited to:
- suspension or revocation of registration
- withdrawal of export services
- additional conditions and restrictions on processing.
Other guidelines for Australian export registered establishments and exporters
The department’s website has further information on:
Dairy, Egg and Fish Exports
Residues and Food Branch
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Phone: 02 6272 3933
GPO Box 858, Canberra ACT 2601
Dairy, Eggs and Fish