We regulate food imports into Australia to:
- protect our environment from biosecurity risks
- protect consumers from food safety risks.
Follow these steps to make sure you import food that meets these conditions.
Check our Biosecurity Import Conditions (BICON) system
Before importing food, check if:
- you can import the food into Australia
- the food needs to meet any biosecurity import conditions (e.g. treatments, import permit requirement).
Check the biosecurity import conditions in BICON.
Import restrictions apply to food such as:
- eggs and egg products
- dairy products
- meat and meat products
- seeds and nuts
- fresh fruit and vegetables.
Source safe and compliant food
Food imported for sale must be safe and comply with the Country of Origin food Labelling Information Standard and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
To source safe and compliant food, seek assurances from your supplier that the food:
- has been produced under a food safety system that effectively identifies and controls foodborne hazards of concern
- complies with compositional requirements (e.g. only contains ingredients or additives allowed in Australia)
- is not fortified with vitamins and minerals, unless permitted
- only contains permitted agricultural and veterinary residues within allowable limits (MRLs specified in Schedule 20 & Schedule 21 of the Code
- meets the microbiological and contaminant limits in Schedule 27 and Schedule 19 respectively of the Code
- is not a prohibited plant or fungi and does not contain as an ingredient a prohibited plant or fungi listed in Schedule 23 of the Code
- has not been irradiated or does not contain ingredients that have been irradiated unless expressly permitted under Standard 1.5.3 of the Code
- is correctly labelled, including declaration of mandatory allergens (unless you are labelling the food after it arrives in Australia before you distribute it for sale or prior to the time of inspection under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme).
You can verify safety and compliance by asking your supplier for:
- evidence of food safety certification
- results of product testing
- ingredient information documents
- product specification sheets and sample labels.
Lodging declarations and documents
You must lodge details of your food imported for sale in a Full Import Declaration.
Check to see if your imported food needs a:
- mandatory foreign government certificate
- food safety management certificate
- IFIS importer declaration.
Inspection and testing
We inspect and test food imported for sale under our Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS) to check that it meets our requirements.
We will also check your food meets:
- Australia’s standards in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
- country of origin food labelling requirements (business.gov.au) for compliance with the Country of Origin Food Labelling information Standard 2016.
Inspection and testing fees
Inspections of imported food intended for sale are cost recovered. See our charging guidelines.
Food importers must pay the appointed analyst for any laboratory testing required.
Food Import Compliance Agreement
Food importers can enter into a Food Import Compliance Agreement (FICA) with us if they have a documented food safety management system. This is instead of having your food inspected and tested under the IFIS.
We regulate FICAs under an audit arrangement with you where we assess and recognise your food safety management system.
Find out more about FICAs.
You must keep records showing where your food imports are from.
Keep a record of:
- contact details of your suppliers or customers
- descriptions of the food and batch or lot identification
- transaction dates
- how much food you’ve received or will be supplied.
Check our Imported Food Notices for updates on imported food requirements.