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Australia regulations

General requirements for imports

The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code: Sets legal requirements for the safe handling of primary production and processing of foodstuffs.

The Code is a collection of food standards that are designed to:

  • ensure that food is safe and suitable for human consumption;
  • prevent misleading conduct associated with the sale of food;
  • provide adequate information to enable consumers to make an informed choice and;
  • provide an effective regulatory framework within which the food industry can work efficiently.

Relevant sections:
Chapter 3 - Standard 3.2.2 of the Code, “Food safety practices and general requirements”, information is provided about the hygienic requirements for food.

Imported Food Control Act: Provides guidance about the controls on the importation and movement of imported food, the Food Control Certificate, the Food Inspection Scheme and the Quality Assurance Certificates.

The Biosecurity Act: Establishes requirements and regulatory powers that affect how the department manages the bio-security risks associated with food imported into Australia.This Act is specific to pests and other unwanted microorganisms and provides guidance about the import health standards. These standards outline requirements to be met for the effective management of risks associated with importing unsafe food; including risks arising because importing the goods involves or might involve an incidentally imported new microorganism.

Additives, contaminants, antimicrobials and residues

The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code: Provides guidance about additives, contaminants and residues that are permitted to be added to food sold in Australia, their standards and their maximum levels.

Relevant sections of the Code:

Chapter 1 - Standard 1.3.1: Food additives
- Schedule 7: Food additive class names (for statement of ingredients)
- Schedule 8: Food additive names and code numbers (for statement of ingredients)
- Schedule 15: Substances that may be used as food additives
- Schedule 16: Types of substances that may be used as food additives

Chapter 1 – Part 1.4:  Contaminants and residues
- Schedule 19: Maximum levels of contaminants and natural toxicants
- Schedule 20: Maximum residue limits

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) is a database that maintains current details about agricultural and veterinary chemical products registered for use in Australia or which may be available for off-label use under a minor-use permit. This database includes the product name, registering company, active constituents, product category, and host and pest information.

You can find the database at the following link:

Microbiological and organic criteria

The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code: Provides guidance about the microbiological maximum limits.

Relevant sections of the Code:
Chapter 1 - Standard 1.6.1: Microbiological limits in food
Schedule 27: Microbiological limits for foods


Imported Food Control Act: Provides guidance about the imported food inspection advice, the treatment, destruction or re-exportation of non-compliant food

The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code:
Covers the “one step back and one step forward” elements of traceability for foodstuffs

Relevant sections:
Standard 3.2.2 (Chapter 3) provides general traceability requirements
Standard 4.2.1 (Chapter 4) gives specific requirements for seafood

Regional Plan of Action against IUU fishing (RPOA-IUU): A ministerial initiative with the aim to promote responsible fishing practices and combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Southeast Asian region.

National Plan of Action against IUU fishing (NPOA-IUU): Provides an overview of impacts of IUU fishing on Australia's fisheries management arrangements. The plan outlines Australia's key domestic measures, initiatives and possible future actions to combat IUU fishing.

You can find all the Plans at the following link:

Labelling and packaging

The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code: Includes general labelling and requirements that are relevant to all foods, and sets out which requirements apply in different situations (e.g. food for retail sale vs food for catering purposes). Chapter 2 also includes specific labelling and information requirements that apply to fishery products.

Relevant sections:
Chapter 1 - Part 1.2: Labelling and other information requirements
Chapter 2 - Standard 2.2.3: Fish and fish products

How do we find the last consolidated version of the Regulations?

You can find the “Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code” at the following link :

For all the other legal texts please visit the following link, you can insert the name of the law/act/regulations under the box “Search” in order to find them:

Last updated:  23/03/2020

Cover photo: Bernard Spragg on FlickR (CC0 1.0)

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