2015-03 - Changes to audit regime for export registered vessels and fish establishments

​Update:  10 June 2015
Date of effect:  1 July 2015

This notice applies to export registered vessels and fish establishments.


As of 1 July 2015, export registered vessels and fish establishments will be audited under a new audit regime.

The new audit requirements are detailed in the “Audit Guideline – Dairy, Egg and Fish Exports”.

The guideline replaces the “Audit Regime for Fish Exports – A guideline to compliance with the Export Control (Fish and Fish Products) Orders 2005“.

Key Advice

  • The new audit regime will apply to each establishment from the first scheduled audit after 1 July 2015.
  • Export registered vessels and fish establishments will now be audited either annually, 9 monthly or 6 monthly depending on the risk category of each establishment.
  • Ratings of A, B, C, D or E will no longer be applied. The result of each audit will now be reported to the occupier as either “acceptable” or “unacceptable”.
  • As A to E audit outcome ratings are no longer applied, audit frequency will no longer automatically increase (or decrease).  Audit frequency will be based on the non-compliance/s found and the timeframe in which these will need to be closed out by an additional audit.
  • An acceptable audit result may include the identification of non-compliance/s that the occupier must take action to rectify.
  • A finding of unacceptable will be made if there is evidence of critical non-compliance.
  • Audits may be conducted more frequently than 12, 6 or 9 months if deemed necessary:
    • to verify that action has been taken to address non-compliance
    • to support an importing country review
    • as a result of sanctions

The following table details the new audit frequencies for each type of fish establishment, based on risk.

Table 1: Risk and Audit Frequencies for Export Fish Establishments

Type of Establishment


Audit Frequency

  • Fish storage establishments, including dry, cool and freezer stores
  • Establishments that hold and pack live fish (other than bivalve molluscs)
  • Fishing vessels



  • Establishments that manufacture fish products intended to be cooked or further processed prior to consumption


9 Monthly

  • Fish establishments that manufacture ready-to-eat products
  • Establishments that prepare bivalve molluscs**


6 Monthly

*For establishments with operations in more than one risk category the higher audit frequency applies.
** Except where the final product for export is only the abductor muscle of scallops or Pinctada spp.


The Department of Agriculture has completed a review of the audit regime for registered vessels and fish establishments and is implementing the changes detailed in this Industry Advice Notice.

The Export Control (Fish and Fish Products) Orders 2005 (the “Orders”) allow the Secretary to specify the frequency and intensity of the audit of operations of occupiers, exporters and approved export permit issuers.

Further enquiries can be made by e-mailing: Dairy Eggs Fish or by contacting your local Department of Agriculture Food Safety Auditor. 

Export legislation link.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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