IFN 08-19 – Understanding the Food Control Certificate

​29 April 2019

Purpose

The purpose of this notice is to remind importers of their responsibilities when the department issues them with a Food Control Certificate.

Food Control Certificate

The Food Control Certificate (FCC) is an electronic direction issued by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources advising the owner of the imported food, which may be the importer or broker, that an entry of food has been referred for inspection under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme. The FCC states which lines of the import declaration are required to be inspected, or inspected and analysed. The FCC also advises what analytical tests are required.

Section 13 of the Imported Food Control Act 1992 specifies that the Food Control Certificate is in a form approved by the delegate. The current version of the Food Control Certificate is here:

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Food Control Certificate PDF PDF Icon336 KB

What importers need to do

Upon receipt of a FCC the owner of the food is required to book an inspection by contacting the department. Details on how to do this are included on the FCC. Food required to be inspected must remain on hold and cannot be distributed until the inspection has taken place.

The owner of the food needs to pay particular attention to the ‘Additional Directions’ section on the FCC as this field includes additional directions on what documents must be presented to the authorised imported food officer at the inspection.  Documents required at inspection include:

  • lot or can code lists and quantities per lot or can codes, invoices, packing lists, line identification and a copy of the Food Control Certificate.

Failure to provide these documents will result in the inspection being cancelled and fees applied.

All goods identified in the ‘Inspection or inspection & analysis required’ section of the FCC must be fully unpacked to provide unobstructed access to all cartons within the lots identified for inspection, enabling authorised officers to verify the number of cartons as per the lot code list and perform random sampling.  The importer or agent must be present at the time of inspection. Failure to provide unobstructed access can result in the inspection being cancelled and fees applied.

For sampling of oversized and/or frozen food items, importers or their storage providers, are requested to assist by providing a representative, who may be required to use sampling tools, to take the sample under the supervision of an authorised imported food officer. Please ensure this support is available prior to booking your inspection.

All documents must comply with the department’s minimum documentary and import declaration requirements policy.