Declaring the producer of imported food

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Guidance on how to determine the producer of an imported food

What does the term ‘producer’ mean?

For the purposes of lodging a FID for imported food, the producer of an imported food is the commercial or individual’s premises or area in the country of origin where the goods were grown, caught, manufactured or processed. The producer may also be referred to as the manufacturer, processer, packer or establishment.

How do I determine the producer of the food?

Generally, the producer will conduct the final processing or packaging of the food and their name and contact details will appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Is the producer the same as the exporter/supplier?

The producer of the food MAY be the same as the exporter/supplier. However, the producer is NOT a third party premises where finished food products are consolidated for export, such as a warehouse or freight forwarder.

What if my overseas supplier does not provide the details of the producer, for commercial or other reasons?

The overseas supplier should be registered as a producer in the ICS and declared as the producer.

Do I need to declare the producer of each ingredient in a processed food?

No. Where a food consists of ingredients from multiple sources, the producer that should be declared is the commercial or individual’s premises that completed the processing of the finished food product.

How do I apply the principles above to different types of imported food?

Meat, seafood, seaweed, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds and coconut

Raw/unprocessed meat, seafood, seaweed, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds and coconut

The producer is the commercial or individual’s premises where the goods are packed into the final bulk or retail packaging.

Example

Raw/unprocessed meat, seafood, seaweed, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds or coconut is packed into the final bulk or retail packaging at Premises A. Premises A should be declared as the producer and the name and contact details for Premises A can appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Processed meat, seafood, seaweed, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds and coconut products

The producer is the commercial or individual’s premises where the goods were processed into the finished product and packed into the final bulk or retail packaging.

Example

Raw/unprocessed meat, seafood, seaweed, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds or coconut is sourced from Premises A and sent to Premises B for processing into finished products. Premises B should be declared as the producer and the name and contact details for Premises B can appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Cheese and curd

The producer is the premises where the goods receive the final processing and are packed into the final bulk or retail packaging. The name and contact details for the producer can appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Coffee, tea, herbs, spices, rice, cereals, flour, malt, sugar, cocoa, salt, oils etc

The producer is the premises where the goods receive the final processing and are packed into the final bulk or retail packaging. The name and contact details for the producer can appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Example

Coffee, tea, herbs, spices, rice, cereals, flour, malt, sugar, cocoa, salt, oils etc is sourced from one or more sources and packed into the final bulk or retail packaging at Premises A. Premises A should be declared as the producer and the name and contact details for Premises A can appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Processed foods and beverages including chocolate, confectionery, honey and alcohol

A processed food or beverage may consist of ingredients from multiple sources. The producer is the commercial or individual’s premises where the goods were processed into a finished product and packed into the final bulk or retail packaging.

Example

Ingredients for a processed food or beverage are sourced from Premises A, Premises B and Premises C for processing into finished products by Premises D. Premises D should be declared as the producer and the name and contact details for Premises D can appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Gift hampers that contain multiple foods from multiple producers

The producer is the premises where the goods are packed into the final bulk or retail packaging

Foods that are not specified above

The producer is the commercial or individual’s premises where the goods were processed into a finished product and packed into the final bulk or retail packaging.

What happens if I declare the incorrect producer in a FID?

The FID may be incorrectly referred to the department and will need to be assessed before the goods can be released. For risk food, the department’s import system will not apply the correct rate of inspection and the importer’s goods may be subject to unnecessary inspection and analytical testing of samples.

What happens if at an inspection the producer on the labelling is found to be different to the producer in a FID?

Risk food - The department officer will cease the inspection and advise the importer or agent that the producer must be amended in the FID. The FID must be amended before a reinspection of the goods can occur.

Holding order food - The officer will conduct a visual and label inspection and advise the importer or agent that the producer needs to be declared correctly in future FIDs.

Surveillance food - The officer will complete the inspection and advise the importer or agent that the producer needs to be declared correctly in future FIDs.

Guidance for licensed customs brokers on how to add, amend or delete a producer code in the ICS

For many consignments of imported food the rate of inspection under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme is based on the compliance of previous consignments sourced from a particular producer. Therefore, before creating a new producer, it is important that licensed customs brokers utilise the Wildcard and Like Match functions in the ICS to ensure the producer to be added does not already exist.

Exercising due diligence in this area will mean that future consignments may benefit from a reduced rate of inspection, where an existing history of compliance exists.

Only licensed customs brokers have access to add producer codes in the ICS.  All other users will need to request a producer code to be created by using the producer code request form.

How to add a new producer

Utilise the Wildcard and Like Match functions in the ICS to ensure the producer to be added does not already exist.
There are three fields called Name, Locality and Country Code that must be completed when creating a new producer via Cargo Interactive:

Name - The Name field can hold 250 characters and must include the full name of the producer where possible. Where required use abbreviations such as Pty Ltd or P/L for Proprietary Limited.

Locality - The Locality field can hold 40 characters and must include an accurate reflection of the physical address (20 Export Park, San Jose, California) instead of a broad locality (California). Where required use abbreviations such as St for Street or Bldg for Building. A Post Office box is not an acceptable address.

Country Code – The Country Code field must include the country where the producer is based. A search function is available to select the correct country code.

How to amend an existing producer

This must be done via a form on the department’s website. The existing producer can be used in a FID directly after the form has been submitted and the amendment will be processed by the department as soon as possible.

How to delete an existing producer

This must be done via a form on the department’s website and the deletion will be processed by the department.

Guidance for importers that broker their own goods on how to add, amend or delete a producer code in the ICS

Importers that broker their own goods do not currently have access to add, amend or delete a producer code in the ICS.  This must be done via a form on the department’s website and the deletion will be processed by the department.  The department has requested the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to add functionality to the ICS that will allow importers that broker their own goods to add producer codes.

Generic producer codes can be used for certain goods

Goods within tariff chapters 2 – 22 that fall into one of the categories below may still be referred to the Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS), as they have been prior to the introduction of the requirement to declare the producer. When this occurs, the importer can provide evidence (a declaration, import permit etc) about the end use to an Authorised Officer who will consider if the goods may be released from the IFIS without inspection or analysis.

Food exempt from the Imported Food Control Act 1992

Generic producer codes have been added to the ICS for certain goods that are exempt from the IFIS under Section 7 of the Imported Food Control Act 1992, including ship’s or aircraft’s stores, or food that is imported for private consumption or as a trade sample.

Type of imported goodGeneric producer codeGeneric producer name
Food imported for ship’s stores only. Section (1)(c) of the Imported Food Control Act 199200224506Ship's stores only
Food imported for aircraft’s stores only. See definition at Section (1)(c) of the Imported Food Control Act 19920004997P Aircraft's stores only
Food imported for private consumption only. See definition at Section (7)(2) of the Imported Food Control Act 19920005531XPrivate consumption <10KG/10L
Food imported for a trade sample only. See definition at Section (7)(3) of the Imported Food Control Act 19920007593XTrade sample <20KG/20L not for consumption

Food imported for an end use other than human consumption

Food may also be imported to Australia that has an end use other than human consumption.  Example – an import of tariff code 18040000(05) for Cocoa butter, fat and oil may be used in the production of food for human consumption but can also be used in the production of cosmetic products. Similar examples exist for animal feed, therapeutic ingredients and industrial use.

Type of imported goodGeneric producer codeGeneric producer name
Food imported for an end use other than human consumption00213492   Not for human consumption

Returned Australian goods

Food that has been produced in Australia and exported overseas may also be returned to Australia.

Type of imported goodGeneric producer codeGeneric producer name
Food exported from Australia that is being returned0004957TReturned Australian goods only
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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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