Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

An Expert's View about Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in Australia

Posted on: 30 Nov 2011

Australia has very strict quarantine requirements for imported food and agricultural products. Import Permits and certifications are required for the majority of food and agricultural products entering the country.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 10/21/2011 GAIN Report Number: AS1127 Australia Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards - Certification FAIRS Export Certificate Report - 2011 Approved By: Joseph Carroll, Agricultural Counselor Prepared By: Lindy Crothers, Agricultural Marketing Specialist Report Highlights: This report provides guidance on export certificate requirements for a representative sample of products that have been identified as having excellent prospects in the Australian market. The information required to import into Australia is complex and changes frequently. It is therefore not possible to provide comprehensive information for every product in this report. Sections Updated: All sections have been revised or updated. DISCLAIMER: This report has been prepared by the USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service in Canberra, Australia for U.S. exporters of domestic food and agricultural products. Australia?s quarantine regulations are constantly changing so it is impossible to provide complete detail in this report. The information provided is for example only. While every possible care was taken in the preparation of this report, information provided may not be completely accurate either because policies have changed since its preparation, or because clear and consistent information about these policies was not available. It is highly recommended that U.S. exporters verify the full set of import requirements with their Australian importer, who is normally best equipped to research such matters with local authorities, before any goods are shipped. FINAL IMPORT APPROVAL OF ANY PRODUCT IS SUBJECT TO AUSTRALIA?S RULES AND REGULATIONS AS INTERPRETED BY BORDER OFFICIALS AT THE TIME OF PRODUCT ENTRY. Section I. List of All Export Certificates Required By Government: Summary Australia has very strict quarantine requirements for imported food and agricultural products. Import Permits and certifications are required for the majority of food and agricultural products entering the country. The information required to obtain an Import Permit is different for each product and can include such things as cooking/freezing times, ?area freedom from specific pest? declarations, certification for fumigation of containers, etc. Often there are very specific requirements for U.S. products that allow entry where the product, in general, is not allowed from other countries. The information required is updated frequently so it is therefore not possible to provide comprehensive information for every product in this report. The Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service (AQIS) oversees the importation of all agricultural products entering Australia and maintains an on-line Import Conditions (ICON) database that is updated constantly. This database contains very detailed information on the quarantine requirements for products coming into this market. Before deciding to export any food or agricultural products to Australia, U.S. exporters should first check with this web site to ascertain whether they can meet Australia?s requirements. If a product is not listed in the database, it is likely that it is not allowed entry to Australia. The full web site address is: http://www.aqis.gov.au/icon32/asp/ex_querycontent.asp Import Permits Import Permits are required by AQIS for a large number of fresh and semi-processed food products and some fully processed products entering Australia. Only an Australian-based individual or company can apply for an Import Permit. Import permits are generally valid for two years and can be used any number of times during that period. The Import Permit will dictate the complete conditions under which the product may enter Australia. The information required to apply for a permit differs greatly between products and can often differ for the same products from different regions. U.S. exporters should work very closely with their Australian importers to make sure that all conditions are met before shipping any product. Failure to do so will result in delays in product entering the country. Examples of Australian Export Certification Requirements The requirements listed in the table in the following section are provided as a representative sample of products that have been identified as having excellent prospects in the Australian market. Apart from these specific ?attestations? which refer only to export certification requirements, products must meet a range of other criteria specific to each commodity which may include, but is not limited to, packaging requirement, pre-clearance (if applicable), treatment options, and container conditions. A large amount of additional information may be required for each shipment. U.S. exporters are advised to consult the ICON database for and their importers for complete import conditions for individual commodities. Example copies of certificates are not available as they differ for each product. Examples of Export Certificate Attestations Required by Government of Australia Title of Product Certificate Attestation Required Cherries ? fresh APHIS A single phytosanitary certificate (original) must (from certain counties in Phytosanitary accompany each cherry consignment, and must California, Oregon, Certificate be endorsed by APHIS. It must include the Washington & Idaho following details: ONLY) a) For California only: the packing house details and the orchard block/lot number contained in each consignment under the Distinguishing Marks section. b) For Pacific North West: the State or Federal/State lot numbers should be recorded under the Distinguishing Marks section. State or Federal/State lot numbers have three components (1) the authorizing agency listed first; (2) a unique facility identification number is next; (3) followed by the date or serial number which indicates the day of packing. c) The shipping container number/s and container seal number/s are preferred (but not mandatory and can be shown on the Bill of lading), and should be included on the Phytosanitary certificate under ?Distinguishing marks? where these details are known at the time the Phytosanitary certificate is being prepared. d) The Phytosanitary certificate must also have the additional declarations for non-pre-cleared and pre-cleared fruit, as below. Non-Pre-cleared: ?The consignment has been inspected post- fumigation using 20? magnification of a 600 fruit sample, with any fruit showing signs of infestation being cut and found free of all live stages of Drosophila suzukii.? AND ?The cherries in this consignment were grown in [name(s) of County/Counties and State], and were fumigated and packed in [name(s) of County/Counties and State]. All growing, fumigating and packing of these cherries occurred either in Counties that are free of fruit flies except Rhagoletis spp. or in areas that are located in excess of 15 km from any fruit fly declared areas.? Pre-cleared (only permitted from Pacific NW ? Washington, Idaho & Oregon) Pre-cleared consignments must be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate which incorporates the mandatory preclearance additional declaration with the Drosophila suzukii and fruit fly additional declarations as below: ?The consignment has been inspected post- fumigation using 20? magnification of a 600 fruit sample, with any fruit showing signs of infestation being cut and found free of all live stages of Drosophila suzukii.? AND ?The cherries in this consignment were grown in [name(s) of County/Counties and State], and were fumigated and packed in [name(s) of County/Counties and State]. All growing, fumigating and packing of these cherries occurred either in Counties that are free of fruit flies except Rhagoletis spp. or in areas that are located in excess of 15 km from any fruit fly declared areas.? AND ?AQIS pre-clearance inspection was undertaken on cherries produced in Washington (or Idaho or Oregon) in accordance with the Work Plan for the pre-clearance of cherries to Australia.? e) A single photocopy of the relevant Notice of Intention to export (NOI) must be attached or forwarded with the Phytosanitary Certificate. Pre- cleared pallet card numbers included in the consignment marked i.e. ticked, asterisk, or underlined. Use of a text highlighter is not recommended, as it is difficult to photocopy or fax. - The NOI must be signed & stamped by an AQIS officer. - The NOI must be marked as ?passed? by an AQIS officer. f) The relevant NOI number/s may be noted on the Phytosanitary Certificate to facilitate on arrival document verification. g) The following fumigation details must also be included on the Phytosanitary Certificate: - The name of the fumigation facility. - The date of fumigation. - The concentration of methyl bromide [CH3Br] (g/m?). - The fumigation duration. - The ambient air temperature during fumigation (?C). - The cherry pulp temperature during fumigation (?C). Table Grapes - fresh APHIS A single phytosanitary certificate (original) must (pre-cleared, from certain Phytosanitary accompany each table grape consignment, and approved counties of Certificate must be endorsed by APHIS. It must include the California only. Growers following details: must be USDA registered.) a) A photocopy of the relevant Notice of Intention to export (NOI) must be attached or forwarded with the Phytosanitary certificate. OVI pallet card numbers included in the consignment clearly marked i.e. ticked, asterisk, or underlined. Use of a text highlighter is not recommended, as it is difficult to photocopy or fax. b) The relevant NOI number/s may be noted on the Phytosanitary Certificate to facilitate on arrival document verification. c) The shipping container number/s and container seal number/s are preferred (but not mandatory and can be shown on the Bill of lading), and should be included on the Phytosanitary certificate under ?Distinguishing marks? where these details are known at the time the Phytosanitary certificate is being prepared. d) The following additional declarations stating: ?The consignment has been inspected and found free of all live life stages of Drosophila suzukii?, AND ?The grapes in this consignment have been produced in California in accordance with the conditions governing the entry of fresh table grapes from California to Australia.?, AND ?AQIS Pre-clearance inspection undertaken in California in accordance with the Work Plan for the pre-clearance of table grapes to Australia.? The following fumigation details must be included in the Phytosanitary Certificate: - The name of the fumigation facility. - The date of fumigation. - The concentration of methyl bromide [CH3Br] (g/m?). - The fumigation duration. - The ambient air temperature during fumigation (?C). - The grape pulp temperature during fumigation (?C). e) Table grapes that have undergone SO2/ CO2 and methyl bromide fumigation and inspection must be held, and transported, under secure conditions after fumigation ? and in a manner that precludes re-infestation or contamination from soil or other debris. Prunus Spp (Apricots, Phytosanitary Each consignment must be accompanied by a Cherries, Plums, Certificate Phytosanitary Certificate with the following Peaches) with seeds ? endorsements: sun-dried, unprocessed, tenderized, rehydrated, "The Prunus spp. were grown in the state of dehydrated (specify state), (country of origin)?, AND "Plum Pox Virus is not present in the state of (specify state), (country of origin)". Citrus (pre-cleared from Phytosanitary All fresh citrus that has been inspected offshore California & Arizona only) Certificate must be clearly labeled and legibly identified by pallet numbers or grower lot numbers on a ?Notice Note: Conditions for of Intention to Export? (NOI). A copy of the citrus imports from relevant NOI/s must be forwarded to Australia Arizona are currently with the original Phytosanitary Certificate under review. Please accompanying the consignment. check the ICON website for updates on the status. All consignments must be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate with the additional declarations, incorporating two mandatory preclearance declarations and one fruit fly declaration, as described below: Mandatory additional declarations for pre-cleared produce Each consignment must be accompanied by an original Phytosanitary certificate endorsed with the following additional declarations: a) ?The citrus fruits in this consignment have been produced in California or Arizona in accordance with the conditions governing the entry of fresh citrus fruits from California or Arizona to Australia.? AND b) ?AQIS pre-clearance inspection was undertaken in California or Arizona in accordance with the Work Plan for the pre-clearance of citrus fruits to Australia.? Declarations for Asian Citrus Psyllid In addition each consignment must also be endorsed with one of the following additional declarations: c) ?The fruit in this consignment has been sourced from a place of production which is free of Diaphorina citri? OR d) ?The fruit in this consignment has been subjected to approved packinghouse measures (washing, brushing and waxing) effective against Diaphorina citri.? Fruit fly additional declarations The Phytosanitary Certificate must also have one of the following fruit fly additional declarations in addition to the additional declarations listed above. e) "The fruit in this consignment was sourced and packed in California or Arizona which is free of all exotic fruit flies." OR f) "The fruit in this consignment was sourced and packed in [name of Californian or Arizona County] which is an area free of all exotic fruit flies." OR g) "The fruit in this consignment was sourced and packed in [name of Californian or Arizona County] which is an area located in excess of 15 kilometers from the epicenter of any exotic fruit fly declared areas, including Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata).? OR h) "The fruit has been stored for 14 days at 0?C ? 0.5?C". Citrus (not pre-cleared) Phytosanitary Each consignment must be accompanied by an from California & Arizona Certificate original Phytosanitary Certificate endorsed with only one of the following additional declarations: Note: Conditions for a) ?The fruit in this consignment has been sourced citrus imports from from a place of production which is free of Arizona are currently Diaphorina citri? OR under review. Please check the ICON website b) ?The fruit in this consignment has been for updates on the status. subjected to a treatment effective against Diaphorina citri? In addition each consignment must also be endorsed with one of the following fruit fly additional declarations: c) "The fruit in this consignment was sourced and packed in [name of State] which is free of all exotic fruit flies." OR d) "The fruit in this consignment was sourced and packed in [name of County] which is an area free of all exotic fruit flies." OR e) "The fruit in this consignment was sourced and packed in [name of County] which is an area located in excess of 15 kilometres from the epicentre of any exotic fruit fly declared areas, including Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata).? OR f) "The fruit has been stored for 14 days at 0?C ? 0.5?C". Strawberries (fresh) ? Phytosanitary Each consignment must be accompanied by a pre-cleared, from Certificate Phytosanitary certificate endorsed with the California only following additional declarations: a) ?AQIS offshore verification inspection undertaken in accordance with the Work Plan for the offshore verification inspection of Californian strawberries to Australia? AND b) ?The shipment was inspected and found free of symptoms of Xanthomonas fragariae (Angular Leaf Spot)?. A single Phytosanitary certificate (original) must be presented to AQIS for each consignment, and must be endorsed by APHIS. It must include the following details: a) MB fumigation details must be included in the treatment section of the Phytosanitary certificate, including the fumigation date and dosage (g/m?), fumigation duration, and the strawberry pulp/flesh temperature during fumigation (?C). b) In cases where a consignment comprises product from multiple MB fumigation lots, treatment details will be listed only once. c) A single photocopy of the relevant Notice of Intention to export (NOI) must be attached or forwarded with the Phytosanitary certificate. Pallet card numbers for offshore inspected strawberries, that are included in the consignment, must be clearly marked i.e. ticked, asterisk, or underlined. Use of a text highlighter is not recommended, as it is difficult to photocopy or fax. d) The relevant NOI number/s may be noted on the Phytosanitary certificate to facilitate on-arrival clearance procedures. Dates ? Fresh from CA Phytosanitary Each consignment must be accompanied by a only (no stems allowed) Certificate Phytosanitary certificate endorsed with one of the following additional declarations: a) ?The fruit in this consignment was sourced and packed in [insert name of State] which is free of all economically significant fruit flies?, OR b) ?The fruit in this consignment was sourced and packed in [insert name of County] which is an area free of all economically significant fruit flies?, OR c) ?The fruit in this consignment was sourced and packed in [insert name of County] which is an area located in excess of 15 kilometers from any fruit fly declared areas?. This area freedom certification must include the nominated County or State name. Onions (fresh) ? from Phytosanitary Each consignment must be accompanied by a specified counties of Certificate Phytosanitary certificate endorsed: California, Idaho & Oregon only ?The [insert name of produce, e.g. onions, shallots, leeks, chives] were grown in [insert name of district or county] where onion smut (Urocystis cepulae) is not known to occur?. Treatment is required when goods are found to be infested or contaminated with live quarantine pests or there are other biosecurity concerns present. An appropriate treatment (or treatment options) will be determined by AQIS. Figs (fresh) ? from Phytosanitary Each consignment must be accompanied by a mainland USA only Certificate Phytosanitary certificate endorsed with one of the following additional declarations: a) ?The fruit in this consignment was sourced and packed in [insert name of State] which is free of all economically significant fruit flies?, OR b) ?The fruit in this consignment was sourced and packed in [insert name of County] which is an area free of all economically significant fruit flies?, OR c) ?The fruit in this consignment was sourced and packed in [insert name of County] which is an area located in excess of 15 kilometers from any fruit fly declared areas?. This area freedom certification must include the nominated County or State name. Pet Food for dogs and An Import Permit is required. cats (dry or semi-moist) Further to the requirement for an Import Permit, all (animal derived) dry pet food, other than rawhide chews, must undergo significant processing in an establishment approved by AQIS. The approval process involves an individual AQIS desk audit. Additional requirements for an on-site audit will be assessed on a case-by-case basis as part of the desk audit. All expenses relating to audits are to be borne by the importer. The following exceptions apply: a) Product that is to be gamma irradiated on arrival at 50 kGray (5Mrad). Please note that this treatment option is not available in all circumstances and will depend on the materials held at the establishment and the disease status of the country. b) New Zealand product where the animal by- products are derived from premises licensed pursuant to the Meat Act 1981 or approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) and produced in accordance with New Zealand law. c) USA product where the manufacturing facility/ies are approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and registered as approved for export to Australia. Pork ? uncooked, Import Permit conditions will specify the destined for processing requirement for consignments to be accompanied by government certification relating to the product, the animals from which it was derived and relevant processing and packaging details. Section II. Purpose of Specific Export Certificate(s) See table in Section I. Section III. Specific Attestations Required on Export Certificate(s) See table in Section I for examples of specific attestations. Complete details of all attestations required are provided by the Australian authorities when an application for an Import Permit is made by the importer. Section IV. Government Certificate?s Legal Entry Requirements Entry requirements are set out on the import permit. A copy of the import permit plus the originals of any other documentation - airway bill or bill of lading, invoices, and any other papers (including packing lists, insurance documents), etc. relating to the shipment must accompany each shipment. The Minimum Documentary Requirements for all imported products are available at: http://www.daff.gov.au/aqis/import/general-info/documentary-requirements. Depending on the product covered, Import Permits can be valid for up to two years (i.e. covering all shipments during that period). Section V. Other Certification/Accreditation Requirements Apart from Quarantine regulations, products being imported into Australia must also meet a number of other requirements. Details of these requirements are contained in the Food and Agriculture Import Regulations and Standards (FAIRS) report updated each year by this office. The most recent update was August 2011. Recent Reports from FAS/Canberra: These reports may be downloaded at the FAS Attache Reports page at: http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Lists/Advanced%20Search/AllItems.aspx . Title of Report Date Sugar Semi Annual 2011 09/16/11 Livestock and Products Annual 2011 08/31/11 FAIRS Country Report 08/17/11 Stone Fruit Annual 2011 08/11/11 US Cherries Break Through Quarantine Barrier into Western Australia 07/19/11 Agricultural Biotechnology Report 06/29/11 Exporter Guide 06/22/11 Sugar Update 2011 06/20/11 Ag DownUnder June 2011 06/07/11 Dairy Semi Annual 2011 05/09/11 Testing of Food from Japan - Update 04/14/11 Sugar Annual 2011 04/13/11 Additional Testing Required for Japanese Food Products 04/08/11 Cotton and Products Annual 04/04/11 Grain and Feed Annual 2011 03/29/11 Livestock and Products Semi-annual 2011 03/18/11 Wine Annual 2011 03/10/11 Public Attitudes Towards Agricultural Biotechnology in Australia 03/08/11 Review of Food Labeling & Policy 02/24/11 Grain & Feed Lock-Up ? February 2011 02/01/11 Citrus Annual 2010 12/15/10
Posted: 30 November 2011

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