Spices – Paprika, dried pepper, dried capsicum and dried chilli

​​Refer to Imported Food Notice 11-19 for details on recent updates to this web page.

Reference SPI 06/2019

Biosecurity requirements

All imported food must comply with Australia’s biosecurity import conditions. Check the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) to determine if the food you intend to import requires an import permit or a treatment or if it must meet any other conditions. All biosecurity requirements must be met before Imported Food Inspection Scheme requirements apply.

Imported Food Inspection Scheme risk food

Paprika, dried pepper, dried capsicum and dried chilli which may be whole, crushed or ground and will not undergo further processing involving heat treatment before consumption (ready-to-eat) are classified as risk food. This includes, but is not limited to, spices and spice mixes derived from:
  • dried pepper or peppercorn of the genus:
    • Piper spp.
    • Zanthoxylum spp. (Xanthoxylum), or
    • Schinus spp.
  • dried fruits of the genus:
    • Capsicum spp., or
    • Pimenta spp.
  • product which is exclusively a mixture of paprika, dried pepper, dried capsicum or dried chilli only.

Food excluded from this testing  

  • Other spices or spice mixtures
  • Paprika, pepper, capsicum and chilli from New Zealand
  • Small quantities of pepper in grinders
  • Retorted products
  • Food that will undergo further processing involving heat treatment, if accompanied by a written declaration. For example, pepper imported in bulk containers for non-retail sale that will only be used as an ingredient in manufactured foods that will be cooked.

Risk food sampling

When goods are referred for inspection and testing, an authorised officer:

  • will take samples for each product type
  • will take five sample units per lot for analysis.

For more details on sampling refer to Imported Food Notice 07-18 Food sampling under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme.


Table 1 shows risk food tests applied to imported spices and permitted results.

Table 1 Hazard, test applied and permitted result
Hazard Test applied Permitted result
Microorganisms SalmonellaNot detected in any 25 g sample unit
Label and composition assessment Food Standards Code chapters 1 and 2
Visual assessment Imported Food Control Act 1992 section 3(2)(a)(vii) and 3(2)(b)

Version history

DateAmendment details
13 June 2019SPI 06/2019Removed community protection questions from webpage.
10 July 2018SPI 07/2018Webpages for dried capsicum, dried chilli, paprika and pepper combined and definitions updated.
1 May 2014SPI 05/2014Replaces Imported Food Notice 09/12 Tests applied to risk category foods​