International standards and risk assessments

​​​​Adopting international stand​ards and risk assessments supports the Australian Government's aim to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden on businesses, community organisations, and individuals.

As part of the Industry, Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, the government adopted the principle that: 'if a system, service or product has been approved under a trusted international standard or risk assessment, then Australian regulators should not impose any additional requirements, unless there is a good and demonstrable reason to do so'.

Assessment criteria

As required by this decision, we have developed assessment criteria for trusted international standards and risk assessments. The criteria are based on requirements in the ministerial letter of expectation (February 2015) and advice from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and include:

  • international standards and risk assessments are legitimate and applicable to the Australian context
  • specific Australian conditions or circumstances do not warrant distinct regulatory standards and risk assessment processes
  • net cost-benefit ratio of adopting international standards is positive
  • stakeholder feedback and other relevant considerations are positive.

Trusted sources

Criteria to assess authoritative or trusted sources or organisations include:

  • a credible and consistent track record in regulation
  • a publicly transparent assessment process that provides full access to reports and data on which regulation decisions are based
  • a record of actively managing the quality of approval and risk assessment (such as peer review, independent assessment, auditing of processes and outcomes).

The criteria do not exclude or diminish Australian standards that, where justified, exceed international standards. This recognises that national standards must sometimes exceed international standards in order to protect health and safety, environment and trade.

Standards and guidelines in use

We use standards and guidelines in relation to:

Portfolio regulators

Portfolio regulators are developing their own criteria where relevant:

Nominating additional standards and guidelines

You can nominate trusted international standards and risk assessments that we could use in regulatory activities by completing a Nomination of international standards and risk assessments form PDF PDF Icon [226 KB, 3 pages]

Submit your nomination

Email or post your completed form:

Email Regulation reform unit

Regulatory reform unit
Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858


For further information about the adoption of international standards and risk assessments, please contact the Regulatory reform unit. ​
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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