IFN 19-19 – Proposal to prohibit the retail sale of pure and highly concentrated caffeine products

Date of issue: 6 November 2019

Date of effect: Immediate

Purpose

To advise importers that Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has commenced public consultation on an urgent proposal to prohibit the retail sale of pure and highly concentrated caffeine food products in Australia and New Zealand. If this prohibition proceeds, it will impact on the importation of these food products.

Key points

  • On 1 November 2019, FSANZ commenced public consultation on an urgent proposal (P1054 – Pure and highly concentrated caffeine products) to prohibit the retail sale of pure and highly concentrated caffeine food products in Australia and New Zealand.
  • More information on the FSANZ proposal and how to make a submission are available on the FSANZ websiteSubmissions close 6pm AEST Thursday 14 November 2019.
  • In response to FSANZ’s proposal, we have sought urgent advice from FSANZ on the food safety risk posed by these products being imported into Australia.
  • Should the advice state that pure and highly concentrated caffeine products present a potential medium or high risk to public health, we will seek to classify these foods as risk under the Imported Food Control Order 2019 (the Order). This will enable the department to effectively target and prohibit the entry of these products at the border through the Imported Food Inspection Scheme.

Background

The FSANZ proposal (P1054) follows a review conducted by FSANZ in August 2019 which found the availability of pure caffeine for retail sale poses an unacceptably high risk to consumers, and should be prohibited.

In September 2019 Minister Colbeck agreed to all recommendations made by FSANZ in its Report on the safety of caffeine powders and high caffeine content products. Recommendation one from the Report was the preparation of an urgent proposal to amend the Code to prohibit the retail sale of pure and highly concentrated caffeine food products. This urgent proposal (P1054) is now available for a 10 day public consultation period.

Section 16 of the Imported Food Control Act 1992 provides for the Minister to make orders identifying foods that are required to be inspected or inspected and analysed under the Scheme. The Scheme specifically provides for the Minister to make orders classifying foods as ‘risk foods’ if FSANZ has advised that a food presents a potential medium or high risk to public health. These risk foods are specified in the Order.

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: 19 November 2019
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