Proposed Export Control Rule Amendments 2022 (PDF - 210KB)
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Category: Legal Requirements
NSFS reference: 13
Issue date: July 2022
Date of effect: Immediate
Review date: July 2024
Meat Exports Branch – EVSD
The department is currently proposing introducing amendments to the export control legislation: the Export Control Act 2020 (the Act) and several commodity rules as appropriate. As part of this process, the Meat Exports Branch is proposing several rule amendments, across the 4 meat commodity rules as described below. These refinements will ensure that legislation remains fit for purpose – supporting growth and innovation, while maintaining the level of regulatory oversight our trading partners expect.
This notice applies to the 4 meat commodity rules which comprise of:
- Export Control (Meat and Meat Products) Rules 2021 (Meat Rules)
- Export Control (Poultry Meat and Poultry Meat Products) Rules 2021 (Poultry Meat Rules)
- Export Control (Wild Game Meat and Wild Game Meat Products) Rules 2021 (Wild Game Meat Rules)
- Export Control (Rabbit and Ratite Meat and Rabbit and Ratite Meat Products) Rules 2021 (Rabbit and Ratite Meat Rules)
The following table defines terms used in this notice.
|Meat Modernisation||The Australian Government will invest $328 million over four years, commencing 2020/21 to modernise Australia’s export systems to increase efficiency, profitability, and sustainability. The $10.9 million to be invested in the $16 billion export meat processing sector will:
|Australian Meat Standard||Australian Standard AS 4696:2007, Australian Standard for the Hygienic Production and Transportation of Meat and Meat Products for Human Consumption,|
|Official Mark||Specified marks are official marks for the purposes of the Act for meat or meat products that are intended to be exported.|
The Australian Government introduced new export legislation in 2021 as part of a wider initiative to strengthen Australia’s agricultural exports and market access. This initiative makes the laws more relevant, responsive, efficient, provides the same level of regulatory oversight, and removes duplication to ensure consistency across the commodities where possible. This allows for a streamlined approach to regulating different prescribed commodities and ensures the framework is more accessible for exporters and our regulated entities.
The department continues to work with stakeholders to ensure our export control legislation, and our export systems, remain effective benefiting exporters and regulated entities while maintaining strong regulation. This process includes regular reviews of our export control legislation, with any refinements being designed to ensure that the legislation remains fit for purpose, supports growth and innovative, while maintaining the level of regulatory oversight trading partners expect.
The amendments proposed are:
Official mark changes:
- will occur in all 4 meat commodity rules: Meat, Poultry Meat, Wild Game Meat, and Rabbit and Ratite meat rules. (Will also occur in the Export Control (Plant and Plant Products) Rules 2021 for consistency)
- proposed legislative change – the proposed amendments provide additional official mark size options for the ‘Australia Approved’, ‘Australia Approved (Lamb)’, and ‘Australia Inspected (Lamb)’ official marks and changing the carton seal requirements to better reflect current industry practice
- benefit – improves flexibility in official mark usage by increasing the sizing options available for several official marks and better reflects industry practice by matching industry protocols on carton seal official marks
- impact – official mark manufacturers will need to revise and have their Code of Practice amendments approved prior to supplying their customers with any of the new official mark changes
- impact – regulated entities need to confirm with their suppliers that the new options are available and amend their Approved Arrangements as appropriate
AS 4696:2022 changes:
- will occur in 3 meat commodity rules: Meat, Wild Game Meat, and Rabbit and Ratite Meat Rules
- proposed legislative change –will update the Australian Standard reference to the latest edition (i.e., from AS 4696:2007 to AS 4696:2022) upon publication by Standards Australia
- benefit – the latest edition will introduce improved post-mortem inspection methodologies for species covered by AS 4696, clause 2.1, which maintains food safety practices and provides cost savings to the meat processing industry
- benefit – continues to maintain a single AS 4696 reference standard that is used across the 3 meat commodity rules
- impact – due to changed publication arrangements (the AS 4696 publication is now managed by Standards Australia), there will be a purchase price involved to obtain the latest edition. This applies to both the regulator (department) and regulated entities. Copies of the updated standard will be available from SAI Global (SAI Global website)
- impact – purchasing copies of relevant Australia standards related to a regulated entity’s ongoing business activities would be considered a usual business expense. However, the department will also make the new standard publicly available at department regional offices and at On-Plant Veterinary offices in meat registered establishments. Additionally, the new standard will be available at public libraries that provide access to standards, such as the National Library of Australia
Legislating conditions (tier 1) changes:
- will occur in 2 meat commodity rules: Meat, and Wild Game Meat Rules
- proposed legislative change – will require tier 1 establishments to maintain their applicable licencing/registration approvals with the relevant state/territory controlling body that will be responsible for the audit and inspection of the export operations carried out at that registered establishment
- benefit – this will ensure that the state/territory controlling body remains the responsible party for auditing and inspecting the establishment, the outstanding criterion for recognition as a ‘tier 1’ establishment
- impact – the proposed change will apply to new applicants for recognition of tier 1 status
- impact – all existing tier 1 establishments will have their export approvals formally varied to include the same condition
- impact – there should be no change to existing state/territory auditing and inspecting arrangements arising from this change
Legislating importing country conditions for licences:
- will occur in the Meat Rules
- proposed legislative change – will allow the department to apply a condition that is needed to manage or implement an importing country requirement when such an importing country condition needs applying to all licences
- benefit –regulated entities and the department will benefit from the reduced application processing steps needed to issue a meat licence with a legislative importing country requirement condition when this condition will apply to all meat licence holders
- impact – there will be no immediate need to make any changes to existing licences, as all existing licence holders have the ‘China’ conditions already applied to their licences
- impact – all future licence applications will have the all-licence-holder ‘China’ condition automatically applied with the licence approval, thus benefiting from shorter application processing steps
Meat Modernisation changes:
- will occur in 2 meat commodity rules: Wild Game Meat, and Rabbit and Ratite Meat Rules
- proposed legislative change – provides for a single and consistent department model for meat inspection and verification regulation.
- This model is the provision of department inspection staff to meet importing country requirements with additional meat inspection provided by the use of third party authorised officers, known as Australian Government Authorised Officers (AAOs).
- benefit – this makes the Meat Modernisation changes consistent across all the meat commodity rules. These changes were included in the 7 December 2021 amendments to the Meat Rules.
- Provision of department authorised officer inspection staff to meet importing country requirements already exists in the Poultry Meat Rules
- impact – there will be no departmental nor industry changes required because of these legislative changes to these 2 meat commodity rules, as current wild game meat and ratite meat establishments’ existing inspection arrangements are compliant with the single meat inspection model.
Relevant person for assessment of goods inspection changes:
- will occur in the 4 meat commodity rules
- proposed legislative change –provides legislative clarity on who is the appropriate relevant person when an assessment of goods inspection is undertaken at meat registered establishments
- benefit – improves legislative clarity and certainty when an assessment of goods inspection is conducted
- impact – no change to any current practices
Please provide comments to Christine.Coulson@agriculture.gov.au.
If you have any questions, please contact Christine Coulson.
Comments are due 2 weeks from publication of notice.
There will be a further opportunity to comment during the public consultation “Have your say” period. Industry will be advised of the public consultation period.
(A/g) Assistant Secretary
Meat Exports Branch, Exports and Veterinary Services Division