The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources supports dairy exporters to access markets overseas, but other government agencies and industry groups also have a role in exporting from Australia.
If you are involved in exporting dairy products, you are responsible for understanding your regulatory obligations.
There are a range of resources available outside of our website that may be useful for your manufacturing and export activities.
Codes and standards
Australian Harmonised Export Commodity Codes
The Australian Harmonised Export Commodity Codes (AHECC) are designed for use by exporters, customs brokers and freight forwarders in the classification of goods when providing export declarations to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
The Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding system is generally referred to as the ‘Harmonised System’ (HS). It is a multi-purpose international product classification nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and is used to classify traded products.
The Customs Tariff adds two sets of two digit codes to the six–digit international HS. Australia uses an eight-digit code to classify goods for export. The first six align with international classification standards, while the last two digits are specific to Australian exports.
The classifications are not static and are subject to change. It is very important to keep up-to-date with any changes as they occur. The AHECC is usually updated every January and July and up-to-date versions of the classifications can be found at the ABS Website.
Failure to properly classify your product could lead to incorrect taxation on your exports and the potential loss of the product.
The Codex Alimentarius (CODEX) or ‘Food Code’ are harmonised international food standards, which protect consumer health and promote fair practices in food trade.
CODEX requirements provide guidance for a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan to meet export requirements.
Food Standards Code
The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code is developed and administered by Food Standards Australia New Zealand which is a bi-national Government agency.
The Code lists requirements for foods such as:
- food safety
- genetically modified (GM) foods.
Enforcement and interpretation of the Code is the responsibility of state and territory departments and food agencies within Australia and New Zealand.
The Code includes general food, food product, food safety and primary production standards.
User guides to the Food Standards Code are available to help industry comply with the code. The guides, unlike the standards, are not legally binding.
Dairy Australia works collaboratively with Australian and international government regulatory agencies and service suppliers to ensure a preventative approach to food safety across the integrated supply chain.
Dairy Australia is the peak industry body that represents the dairy industry and farmers and play a key role in our consultative process.
A web portal has been designed to assist dairy businesses wishing to supply to export markets. Visit the trade ready site to understand what is required to become trade ready.
Dairy Export Industry Consultative Committee
The Dairy Export Industry Consultative Committee (DEICC) is the principal consultative committee for the department and the Australian dairy export industry.
It includes representation from small and large dairy industries, exporters, Dairy Australia and the department.
State regulatory authorities may also be audit service providers under agreed service delivery arrangements with the department.
Dairy agency websites by state