IFN 04-19 – Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS) importer declarations for cheese and ready-to-eat processed finfish

4 March 2019

Purpose

The purpose of this notice is to advise brokers and importers that an Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS) importer declaration may be needed for certain types of food imported into Australia.

What has changed?

On 8 August 2018 the department introduced IFIS importer declarations for consignments of certain types of food imported to Australia.

Cheese made from pasteurised milk

An importer declaration is voluntary to demonstrate that the cheese does not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes.

Consignments with a voluntary IFIS importer declaration to demonstrate that the cheese does not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes will be classified as a surveillance food and randomly selected for inspection and analysis at a rate of 5%.

Consignments without a voluntary IFIS importer declaration to demonstrate that the cheese does not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes will be classified as a risk food and initially selected for inspection and analysis at a rate of 100%.

Refer to CHE 07-2018  and IFN 04-18 for further information.

Cheese made from unpasteurised milk - excluding Roquefort cheese from France

IFIS importer declaration – heat treatment

An IFIS importer declaration is needed to demonstrate that the cheese has been subjected to a heat treatment during production. Consignments without an IFIS importer declaration about heat treatment during production are not permitted entry and will be subject to supervised destruction or export from Australia.

Refer to RMC 07-2018 for further information.

IFIS importer declaration – Listeria monocytogenes

An IFIS importer declaration is voluntary to demonstrate that the cheese does not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes.

Consignments with a voluntary IFIS importer declaration to demonstrate that the cheese does not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes will be classified as a surveillance food and randomly selected for inspection and analysis at a rate of 5%.

Consignments without a voluntary IFIS importer declaration to demonstrate that the cheese does not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes will classified as a risk food and initially selected for inspection and analysis at a rate of 100%.

Refer to CHE 07-2018  and IFN 04-18 for further information.

Roquefort cheese from France

An IFIS importer declaration is not required but each consignment must be accompanied by a consignment specific government certificate. Consignments without a recognised government certificate are not permitted entry and will be subject to supervised destruction or export from Australia.

Refer to RMC 07-2018 for further information.

Ready-to-eat (RTE) processed finfish

An IFIS importer declaration is voluntary to demonstrate that the RTE processed finfish does not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes.

Consignments with a voluntary IFIS importer declaration to demonstrate that the RTE processed finfish does not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes will be classified as a surveillance food and randomly selected for inspection and analysis at a rate of 5%.

Consignments without a voluntary IFIS importer declaration to demonstrate that the RTE processed finfish does not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes will classified as a risk food and initially selected for inspection and analysis at a rate of 100%.

Refer to FSH 07-2018 and IFN 05-18 for further information.

Where can I access IFIS importer declarations?

An IFIS importer declaration template can be downloaded from the Lodging declarations and documentation for imported food webpage.

How long are declarations valid for?

An IFIS importer declaration is valid for a year from the date it is signed by the importer.

How do I lodge declarations?

The completed IFIS importer declarations can be lodged with related import documents in the Cargo Online Lodgement System.

To reduce processing time, it is recommended that goods imported without an importer declaration are lodged on separate lines to goods with an importer declaration.

Further information

Further information about lodging declarations and documentation for imported food can be found on the department’s website.

Subscribe for updates

To receive updates when changes are made to the requirements for imported food, use the following link to subscribe to the Imported Food Inspection Scheme.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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