International standards and risk assessments
Adopting international standards 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'.
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.
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:
- sanitary and phytosanitary measures
- plant health
- animal health
- food standards
- ballast water and sediments
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 [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
CANBERRA ACT 2601