IFN 14-19 - Amendments to imported food regulations

Issued: 04 September 2019

Purpose

The purpose of the notice is to advise importers and brokers about changes that may impact them, following the remake of the Imported Food Control Regulations 2019 (regulations). These changes take effect on 1 October 2019.

These regulations were remade because under Australian law, all regulations ‘sunset’. This means they automatically cease to be law on a certain date unless a review finds the regulations are still required.

What has changed?

The remade regulations contain changes that impact on the operation of the Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS). The changes made reflect best practice and will enable the IFIS to be more flexible and responsive to changing trade in food. More information about the changes are available on our website in the final report of the review of the Imported Food Control Regulations.

The revised regulations are published on the Federal Register of Legislation.

There are three changes that will potentially impact importers and their brokers.

1. Commercial imports taken to be for private consumption reduced from 10 kilograms/ litres to 1 kilogram/litre.

Change to the regulations What this means to food importers and their brokers
Commercial consignments of food taken to be for private consumption for risk and surveillance classified foods are reduced from 10 kilograms/ litres to 1 kilogram/ litre. Commercial consignments of food imports between 1 kilogram/ litre and 10 kilogram/ litres will now be subject to the IFIS.

2. All commercial imports of prohibited plants and fungi will be subject to the IFIS.

Change to the regulations What this means to food importers and their brokers
The weight of prohibited plants and fungi taken to be for private consumption is reduced from 10 kilograms to zero kilograms.
Note: Prohibited plants and fungi are listed in schedule 23 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
All commercial consignments of prohibited plants and fungi, regardless of the weight of the consignment, will be subject to the IFIS.

3. Clarification of powers of authorised officers

Change to the regulations What this means to food importers and their brokers
The powers of authorised officers to request information has been clarified. Authorised officers may request information to confirm the classification of food (i.e. surveillance food or risk food) so it can be correctly inspected or tested, and to determine if the food is failing food. At the request of an authorised officer, importers must provide information to confirm the classification of food being imported.

Further information

Information about the changes to the imported food safety system is available on our amendments to the Imported Food Control Act 1992 webpage.

Food importers are encouraged to subscribe to Imported Food Notices to receive updates on the operational changes to the Imported Food Inspection Scheme to reflect the legislative changes listed in this notice.

Further enquiries can be made by emailing Imported Food Enquiries.

Last reviewed: 7 November 2019
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