Importing Korean food

​If you import or sell food and other products from Korea, you need to be aware of import conditions set by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department).

Import conditions are a set of criteria that allow the department to determine if goods coming into Australia could be carrying an unwanted pest or disease.

Imported food must also meet Australian food safety standards which are outlined in the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code and administered by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). This code can be found on the FSANZ website.

Importers and Brokers

If you import food or other products, you are responsible for knowing the import conditions that apply to your products. You can do this by checking the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON). BICON will allow you to search for the goods you wish to import and will determine if you need to apply for an import permit.

Import permits and associated documents must be complete and accurate so the broker can lodge these with both the department and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Goods that do not meet import conditions may be exported, destroyed or treated at the importer’s expense.


As a retailer you should ask your suppliers if their product meets all of Australia’s import conditions. If they cannot assure you that the product was imported legally then it is suggested that you not stock this product.

You are also encouraged to use the BICON to check if an import permit is needed for your products. If one is needed, you should ask your supplier if they have obtained a valid import permit. Unfortunately, the department is unable to provide the details of those importers who have obtained import permits.

The department has authority under the Biosecurity Act 2015 to recover illegally imported goods from retail outlets.

Compensation for goods seized under warrant or forfeited to the department

If you believe that your food products were incorrectly seized under warrant or forfeited to the department, you can write a letter to us. In your letter you need to outline why you believe the goods should not have been seized under warrant or forfeited to the department, the amount of goods and their approximate value.

Address your letter to:

Mr Wayne Terpstra
Assistant Secretary, Targeting and Enforcement Branch
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601

Reporting suspicious products

If you are aware of any imported product that may not be allowed, you should express your concern to the department. By doing the right thing and reporting suspect products, this could save your business money.

There are several ways to inform us of suspect products.

Contact the department

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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