Mandatory producer details for all imported food

​The implementation phase of the requirement to declare a producer for all imported food in a Full Import Declaration (FID) will commence from 1 June 2016. An Imported Food Notice was published in March 2016 to provide a transition phase between March 2016 and June 2016 for industry to comply with the new requirement.

This new requirement will assist the department’s Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS), industry with improved referral or release of food consignments and Australia’s other food regulators, such as state and territory health authorities, to respond effectively to incidents linked to imported food, such as the hepatitis A virus outbreak in February 2015 linked to imported frozen berries from China.

Implementing the requirement from 1 June 2016 will be done by tariff chapter, with the requirement first applying to those tariff chapters that represent the lowest frequency of food imports.  Inspection data has been reviewed to develop a timeline for each tariff chapter that covers food, which is generally covered in chapters two to twenty two.

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Tariff chapter timeline for mandating a producer to be declared

NOTE: This schedule may change, but notice will be provided should there be a need to change.

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DateChapterGoods
1 June 20165Products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included
1 July 201613Lac; gums, resins and other vegetable saps and extracts
2Meat and edible meat offal
10Cereals
1 August 201611Products of the milling industry; malt; starches; inulin; wheat gluten
12Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits; miscellaneous grains, seeds and fruit; industrial or medicinal plants; straw and fodder
15Animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; animal or vegetable waxes
1 September 20168Edible fruit and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons
7Edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers
4Dairy produce; birds' eggs; natural honey; edible products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included
1 October 2016 18Cocoa and cocoa preparations
17Sugars and sugar confectionery
16Preparations of meat, of fish or of crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates
1 November 20169Coffee, tea, mate and spices
3Fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates
20Preparations of vegetables, fruit, nuts or other parts of plants
1 December 201622Beverages, spirits and vinegar
19Preparations of cereals, flour, starch, or milk; pastrycooks' products
21Miscellaneous edible preparations

Tariff codes within tariff chapter’s 2 – 22 for which the overseas producer does not need to be declared

The below list of tariff codes within chapter’s 2-22 will not require a producer code when lodging a FID in the ICS:

  • 0301
  • 0308
  • 0407.1
  • 04071100 31
  • 04071900 32
  • 0501.00.00 01
  • 0502.10.00 02
  • 0502.90.00 03
  • 0505
  • 0507
  • 0508
  • 0510
  • 0511
  • All under chapter 6
  • 1209
  • All under chapter 14
  • 1505000 30
  • All under 1518
  • 1520.00.00 35
  • 1521
  • 1521.10.00 30
  • 1521.90.00 21
  • 1522.00.00 32

Tariff chapters outside of 2 – 22 for which a producer code will be required

The below list of tariff codes fall outside chapters 2 – 22, but will require a producer code to be declared when lodging a FID in the ICS.

  • 2501 – salt
  • 3501100001 – Casein
  • 3503 – Gelatin (Including gelatin in rectangular (including square) sheets, whether or not surface-worked or coloured) and gelatin derivatives; isinglass; other glues of animal origin, excluding casein glues of 3501
  • 3505100010 – Dextrins and other modified starches
  • 3507 – Enzymes: prepared enzymes not elsewhere specified or included

Guidance on how to determine the producer of an imported food

What does the term ‘producer’ mean?

For the purposes of lodging a FID for imported food, the producer of an imported food is the commercial or individual’s premises or area in the country of origin where the goods were grown, caught, manufactured or processed. The producer may also be referred to as the manufacturer, processer, packer or establishment.

How do I determine the producer of the food?

Generally, the producer will conduct the final processing or packaging of the food and their name and contact details will appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Is the producer the same as the exporter/supplier?

The producer of the food MAY be the same as the exporter/supplier. However, the producer is NOT a third party premises where finished food products are consolidated for export, such as a warehouse or freight forwarder.

What if my overseas supplier does not provide the details of the producer, for commercial or other reasons?

The overseas supplier should be registered as a producer in the ICS and declared as the producer.

Do I need to declare the producer of each ingredient in a processed food?

No. Where a food consists of ingredients from multiple sources, the producer that should be declared is the commercial or individual’s premises that completed the processing of the finished food product.

How do I apply the principles above to different types of imported food?

Meat, seafood, seaweed, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds and coconut

Raw/unprocessed meat, seafood, seaweed, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds and coconut

The producer is the commercial or individual’s premises where the goods are packed into the final bulk or retail packaging.

Example

Raw/unprocessed meat, seafood, seaweed, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds or coconut is packed into the final bulk or retail packaging at Premises A. Premises A should be declared as the producer and the name and contact details for Premises A can appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Processed meat, seafood, seaweed, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds and coconut products

The producer is the commercial or individual’s premises where the goods were processed into the finished product and packed into the final bulk or retail packaging.

Example

Raw/unprocessed meat, seafood, seaweed, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds or coconut is sourced from Premises A and sent to Premises B for processing into finished products. Premises B should be declared as the producer and the name and contact details for Premises B can appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Cheese and curd

The producer is the premises where the goods receive the final processing and are packed into the final bulk or retail packaging. The name and contact details for the producer can appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Coffee, tea, herbs, spices, rice, cereals, flour, malt, sugar, cocoa, salt, oils etc

The producer is the premises where the goods receive the final processing and are packed into the final bulk or retail packaging. The name and contact details for the producer can appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Example

Coffee, tea, herbs, spices, rice, cereals, flour, malt, sugar, cocoa, salt, oils etc is sourced from one or more sources and packed into the final bulk or retail packaging at Premises A. Premises A should be declared as the producer and the name and contact details for Premises A can appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Processed foods and beverages including chocolate, confectionery, honey and alcohol

A processed food or beverage may consist of ingredients from multiple sources. The producer is the commercial or individual’s premises where the goods were processed into a finished product and packed into the final bulk or retail packaging.

Example

Ingredients for a processed food or beverage are sourced from Premises A, Premises B and Premises C for processing into finished products by Premises D. Premises D should be declared as the producer and the name and contact details for Premises D can appear on the final bulk or retail packaging.

Gift hampers that contain multiple foods from multiple producers

The producer is the premises where the goods are packed into the final bulk or retail packaging

Foods that are not specified above

The producer is the commercial or individual’s premises where the goods were processed into a finished product and packed into the final bulk or retail packaging.

Guidance for licensed customs brokers on how to add, amend or delete a producer code in the ICS

For many consignments of imported food the rate of inspection under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme is based on the compliance of previous consignments sourced from a particular producer. Therefore, before creating a new producer, it is important that licensed customs brokers utilise the Wildcard and Like Match functions in the ICS to ensure the producer to be added does not already exist.

Exercising due diligence in this area will mean that future consignments may benefit from a reduced rate of inspection, where an existing history of compliance exists.

From 20 March 2016, licensed customs brokers have access to add producer codes in the ICS.  External release notes 16.4.01 on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website provide instruction on how to add a producer code in the ICS.

How to add a new producer

Utilise the Wildcard and Like Match functions in the ICS to ensure the producer to be added does not already exist.
There are three fields called Name, Locality and Country Code that must be completed when creating a new producer via Cargo Interactive:

Name - The Name field can hold 250 characters and must include the full name of the producer where possible. Where required use abbreviations such as Pty Ltd or P/L for Proprietary Limited.

Locality - The Locality field can hold 40 characters and must include an accurate reflection of the physical address (20 Export Park, San Jose, California) instead of a broad locality (California). Where required use abbreviations such as St for Street or Bldg for Building. A Post Office box is not an acceptable address.

Country Code – The Country Code field must include the country where the producer is based. A search function is available to select the correct country code.

How to amend an existing producer

This must be done via a form on the department’s website. The existing producer can be used in a FID directly after the form has been submitted and the amendment will be processed by the department as soon as possible.

How to delete an existing producer

This must be done via a form on the department’s website and the deletion will be processed by the department.

Guidance for importers that broker their own goods on how to add, amend or delete a producer code in the ICS

Importers that broker their own goods do not currently have access to add, amend or delete a producer code in the ICS.  This must be done via a form on the department’s website and the deletion will be processed by the department.  The department has requested the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to add functionality to the ICS that will allow importers that broker their own goods to add producer codes.

Generic producer codes can be used for certain goods

Goods within tariff chapters 2 – 22 that fall into one of the categories below may still be referred to the Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS), as they have been prior to the introduction of the requirement to declare the producer. When this occurs, the importer can provide evidence (a declaration, import permit etc) about the end use to an Authorised Officer who will consider if the goods may be released from the IFIS without inspection or analysis.

Food exempt from the Imported Food Control Act 1992

Generic producer codes have been added to the ICS for certain goods that are exempt from the IFIS under Section 8 of the Imported Food Control Act 1992, including ship’s or aircraft’s stores, or food that is imported for private consumption or as a trade sample.

Type of imported goodGeneric producer codeGeneric producer name
Food imported for ship’s stores only. Section (1)(c) of the Imported Food Control Act 199200224506Ship's stores only
Food imported for aircraft’s stores only. See definition at Section (1)(c) of the Imported Food Control Act 19920004997P Aircraft's stores only
Food imported for private consumption only. See definition at Section (7)(2) of the Imported Food Control Act 19920005531XPrivate consumption <10KG/10L
Food imported for a trade sample only. See definition at Section (7)(3) of the Imported Food Control Act 19920007593XTrade sample <20KG/20L not for consumption

Food imported for an end use other than human consumption

Food may also be imported to Australia that has an end use other than human consumption.  Example – an import of tariff code 18040000(05) for Cocoa butter, fat and oil may be used in the production of food for human consumption but can also be used in the production of cosmetic products. Similar examples exist for animal feed, therapeutic ingredients and industrial use.

Type of imported goodGeneric producer codeGeneric producer name
Food imported for an end use other than human consumption00213492   Not for human consumption

Returned Australian goods

Food that has been produced in Australia and exported overseas may also be returned to Australia.

Type of imported goodGeneric producer codeGeneric producer name
Food exported from Australia that is being returned0004957TReturned Australian goods only

Next steps and checklist for importers and customs brokers

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What do I need to do as an importer?

Importers should contact their overseas suppliers and ensure that the producer is clearly identified on the commercial documentation for each type of imported food in a consignment.

Importers are responsible for providing the customs broker with sufficient information to accurately declare the producer of the food being imported.

Importers should provide details of the producers they source imported food from and request their customs broker to ensure these producers are registered in the ICS.

Checklist for importers

  • Provide your overseas suppliers with a link to this webpage
  • Ensure that the producer is clearly identified on the commercial documentation
  • Provide your customs broker with details of the producers of the foods you import
  • Ensure that your customs broker registers your producers in the ICS
  • Subscribe to receive e-mail updates from Imported Food

What do I need to do as a customs broker?

Commence declaring the producer for all imported food that is declared in a FID.

Customs brokers should ensure that importers provide sufficient information to accurately declare the producer of all imported food.

Customs brokers should request their clients to provide details of the producers they source imported food from and ensure these producers are registered in the ICS.

Checklist for customs brokers

Questions and Answers for customs brokers and importers

Will this increase the number of FIDs that are referred to the Imported Food Inspection Scheme for inspection, or inspection and analysis?

No. Imported food will continue to be referred to the Imported Food Inspection Scheme at the rates specified in the Imported Food Control Regulations 1993. These rates of referral are 100 per cent of risk food, 100 per cent of food subject to a holding order and five per cent of surveillance food.

I lodge my FIDs using 3rd-party software, will I need a software upgrade?

No. The profile changes will be communicated to your 3rd-party software via the regular EDI reference file update process. Contact your 3rd-party software provider if you are unsure of where to declare the producer in a FID.

I lodge my FIDs using Customs Interactive, does the change affect me?

Yes. Organisations who use Customs Interactive (the web-based component of the ICS), or who use the services of a bureau will also need to declare the producer for all imported food. Contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection if you are unsure where to declare the producer when lodging a FID in Customs Interactive.

What happens if I declare the incorrect producer in a FID?

The FID may be incorrectly referred to the department and will need to be assessed before the goods can be released. For risk food, the department’s import system will not apply the correct rate of inspection and the importer’s goods may be subject to unnecessary inspection and analytical testing of samples.

What happens if at an inspection the producer on the labelling is found to be different to the producer in a FID?

Risk food - The department officer will cease the inspection and advise the importer or agent that the producer must be amended in the FID. The FID must be amended before a reinspection of the goods can occur.

Holding order food - The officer will conduct a visual and label inspection and advise the importer or agent that the producer needs to be declared correctly in future FIDs.

Surveillance food - The officer will complete the inspection and advise the importer or agent that the producer needs to be declared correctly in future FIDs.

General information on the new requirement

This requirement is being introduced to assist the department’s Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS) and Australia’s other food regulators, such as state and territory health authorities, to respond effectively to incidents linked to imported food, such as the hepatitis A virus outbreak in February 2015 linked to imported frozen berries from China.

This new requirement will also reduce the number of FIDs incorrectly referred to the IFIS. A review of the department's records has found that many lines of imported food are incorrectly referred to the IFIS and the officers must still assess these incorrectly referred FIDs before releasing the consignment. The department has investigated how this can be improved and has established that the number of incorrectly referred FIDs will reduce if the producer is declared for all imported food.

Declaring the producer for all imported food will deliver benefits for customs brokers and importers in several stages of the import process:

Improved profiling and referral of FIDs

Customs brokers and importers will benefit from a more targeted profiling and referral process in the ICS for consignments of imported food, particularly for goods subject to a holding order. The department expects a reduction in the number of FIDs that are incorrectly referred, which will expedite the IFIS border clearance processes.

Reduced time for FID and documentation assessment

Less time will be required for officers to compare the information lodged in the FID with the supporting documentation for the consignment. Customs brokers and importers will receive Food Control Certificates quicker and can deal with food that is not required to be inspected or analysed.

Reduced time for inspection and sampling

Authorised officers will have more information about the goods prior to inspection and this will reduce the time required for physical inspection and collection of samples for analysis.