We audit your activity conducted under a Food Import Compliance Agreement (FICA). Audits assess that you are meeting the conditions of your FICA.
Audit fees are outlined in our charging guidelines.
We conduct 3 types of audits.
We perform a pre-approval audit before entering into a FICA with you. We verify if your documented food safety and compliance system complies with the imported food legislation and FICA requirements.
A condition of your FICA is to undergo an audit at least every year. We may increase your audit schedule if we find you have not complied with your FICA.
You will undergo probation audits:
- after we approve your new compliance agreement
- if you fail a scheduled audit.
Once you enter into a FICA, you will undergo 2 probation audits within 180 days. This is from the day we approve your FICA.
When you pass consecutive probation audits, we schedule an audit once a year. We may schedule more based on your previous audit performance.
If you fail an audit, the probationary audit rate starts from the date of the failed audit.
You will stay on the probation audit rate until you pass 2 consecutive audits.
During the audit exit meeting, we provide details of all non-compliance and advisory findings.
Whether you pass or fail an audit depends on the number and type of non-compliances.
There are 3 types of non-compliance.
A non-compliance that results, or is likely to result, in releasing or distributing food that poses a risk to human health.
If we detect any critical non-compliance, you will fail your audit. We may also consider suspending or cancelling your FICA.
A non-compliance that may result in:
- the failure to identify food that does not comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, or
- distributing food that is known to be non-compliant.
If we detect 3 or more major non-compliances, you will fail your audit. You will return to the probation audit rate until we find you compliant.
A non-compliance unlikely to result in the distribution of non-compliant food.
If we detect 7 or more minor non-compliance, you will fail your audit. You will return to the probation audit rate until we find you compliant.
Both major and minor
You will fail your audit if we detect more than:
- 2 major and 3 minor non-compliances, or
- 1 major and 4 minor non-compliances.
You will return to the probation audit rate until we find you compliant.
During a pre-approval audit, we may identify things that could improve your documented food management system.
It is not mandatory to respond to these findings.
Correcting your non-compliance
If we find any instances of non-compliance, you must let us know:
- how you propose to rectify the issue
- what preventative measures you will put in place to stop it from happening again.
You must submit evidence to support the action you have taken.
If we consider your response is satisfactory, we will finalise the matter.
If you fail to correct your non-compliance within the agreed timeframes, we may take further action. We may choose to suspend your agreement.
Review of audit
All non-compliances and advisory findings will be provided. If you disagree with the reported detail, you can contact us in writing (email preferred) to review your concerns, within 10 business days from your audit.
Address your concerns to:
Imported Food section
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Phone: 1800 900 090