Audit of dairy, eggs and fish products export establishments

​​The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources​ has created this set of guidelines to assist those wishing to prepare dairy, egg and fish products in Australia for export, as well as those wishing to export the final products.​

This guideline sets out the audit regime for export registered dairy, egg and fish establishments.

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All export registered establishments must comply with Australia’s export control legislation and document their procedures for compliance in an Approved Arrangement. The department audits export registered establishments to verify compliance with export legislation. More information on Approved Arrangements and registration and audit fees is on the department’s website.

Audit frequency

For dairy, egg and fish establishments, audit frequency is determined by the type of registered establishment (Table 1). Establishments that undertake higher risk operations are audited more frequently. For example, a manufacturing establishment is audited more frequently than an establishment that only stores product.

Additional audits

Establishments may be subject to additional audits:

  • to verify that action has been taken to address non-compliance
  • to support an importing country review
  • as a result of sanctions.

Audit scope and outcome

Audits are conducted against a defined scope, made up of all or some topics covered in the establishment’s Approved Arrangement. The audit checks and verifies that the controls for each requirement in the Approved Arrangement are in place and effective. All parts of an establishment’s export operations are documented in the establishment’s Approved Arrangement and each topic is audited at least once a year.

If a requirement within the Approved Arrangement is found to be non-compliant, the auditor will issue the establishment with a Corrective Action Request. The establishment must rectify all Corrective Action Requests within a timeframe agreed by the auditor. Additional sanctions and/or audits may be conducted as a result of non-compliance.

Table 1: Risk and audit frequencies for dairy, egg and fish establishments

Type of establishment Risk Audit frequency
Dairy, fish and egg storage establishments - dry, cool and freezer stores
Establishments that freeze dairy, fish and egg products
Establishments that hold and pack live fish (other than bivalve molluscs)
Fishing vessels
Establishments that pack whole egg in shell
Low Annual
Establishments that manufacture fish products intended to be cooked or further processed prior to consumption Medium Annual
All non-storage dairy establishments
Fish and egg establishments that manufacture ready-to-eat products
Establishments that manufacture egg and egg products
Establishments that prepare bivalve molluscs
High 6 monthly

Note: For establishments with operations in more than one risk category the higher audit frequency applies.

For dairy processing establishments, audits conducted by the relevant state regulatory authority include both domestic and export requirements.

Audits are given an acceptable or unacceptable outcome and the establishment is issued with a full audit report following the audit.


In addition to an increase in frequency of audits, other sanctions may be applied depending on specific circumstances.
These sanctions include, but are not limited to:

  • suspension or revocation of registration
  • withdrawal of export services
  • additional conditions and restrictions on processing.

Useful links

Other guidelines for Australian export registered establishments and exporters


Dairy, Egg and Fish Exports
Residues and Food Branch
Exports Division
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Phone: 02 6272 3933
GPO Box 858, Canberra ACT 2601

Email: Dairy, Eggs and Fish
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