Foreign governments can apply for a government certification arrangement. These arrangements cover the export of certain foods classified as risk food to Australia. They give us assurance that food safety risks are being effectively managed.
Some food must be imported with a recognised foreign government certificate. The certificate is negotiated under a mandatory government certification arrangement.
Countries can apply for a voluntary government certification arrangement for other foods.
How to apply
Countries must apply through their national competent government authority or official body. These are responsible for:
- setting regulatory food safety requirements, or
- organising and enforcing official controls.
Competent authorities can request more information. Email the Director, Imported Food section email@example.com.
We assess the country’s system for the production and processing of food covered by the application. It must provide equivalent food safety outcomes to Australia’s system. Our process aligns with Codex Alimentarius guidelines for assessing equivalence and negotiating certification.
It includes these steps:
- initial discussions and application
- equivalence assessment process
- negotiation of arrangement and certificate.
Importers and overseas exporters
Certain foods require a government certification arrangement to be imported into Australia.
Only a national competent authority can apply for a certification arrangement. Importers and overseas companies wanting to import/export foods that require a certification arrangement should contact the authority in the exporting country. The authority can apply to us for a government certification arrangement.
A country’s authority must provide information on:
- food safety laws and administrative systems that govern the safety of the food
- national competent authorities and their responsibilities
- government food safety controls and export conditions that manage the foodborne hazards associated with the food
- verification and enforcement of compliance with national standards, government controls and export conditions
- laboratory testing competency.
Countries must supply the valid government certificates, including any required attestations.