Australian Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, has introduced new orders designed to complete the Government’s changes to the Imported Food Control Regulations (Regulations) in respect of recognised foreign government certification.

In March 2015, the Government amended the Regulations to allow the Minister to make orders requiring certain “risk foods” to be inspected and/or analysed under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme. Risk foods are required to be inspected each time they cross the Australian border.  The Imported Food Control Order (Order) was amended by the new Imported Food Control Amendment (Recognised Foreign Government Certificates and Other Measures) Order (Amending Order).

The Amending Order requires that raw milk cheese be covered by a recognised foreign government certificate. This was previously required only in respect of New Zealand originating cheese.  There are a number of other products which were, and still are, required to be covered by recognised foreign government certificates.  Recognised foreign government certificates are agreed upon at a national level by Australia, and are currently in force for 3 jurisdictions – Thailand (issued by the Department of Fisheries for certain fish, molluscs and crustaceans); France (issued by the Department of Agriculture for Roquefort cheese); and Canada (issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for certain fish and molluscs).

The Amending Order also removes from the operation of the Imported Food Scheme certain pig products that originate in New Zealand.