2016-19 - Change to audit regime of registered establishments preparing fish and fish products

Issued: 20 December 2016

Date of effect: 1 January 2017


To advise registered establishments preparing fish and fish products for export as food:

  • A new audit regime will apply to the audit of medium risk establishments from

1 January 2017.

  • Audits may be conducted more frequently than 6 or 12 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.

Action required by registered establishments

Establishments should make arrangements for audits due after 1 January 2017 to occur at the audit frequency detailed in Table 1.

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
  • (Includes scallop processing when only the adductor muscle is exported).



  • 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 adductor muscle of scallops or Pinctada spp.


The change to audit frequency for medium risk fish establishments:

  • Acknowledges establishments within the medium risk category that only apply minimal processes and/or prepare fish or fish products that do not require additional controls.
  • Ensures that audits of medium risk establishments occur during seasonal processing to more effectively verify controls in place.
  • Enables these establishments to nominate an annual audit date that fits with operational demands, provided an assessment of processing activities can be made.

Further information

If you have any questions about this notice, please contact Dairy Eggs Fish.

To book an audit of a registered establishment preparing fish for export as food, please contact Audit Services.​​
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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