Australian food importer fined for selling rice products before biosecurity inspection

Countryman
Food imported into Australia must comply with requirements set out in the Imported Food Control Act.
Camera IconFood imported into Australia must comply with requirements set out in the Imported Food Control Act.

A wholesale food importer has been fined more than $13,000 for selling and distributing rice products before they had been inspected for Australian food and biosecurity standards.

The Australian-owned company was importing food products — including rice noodles and rice products — from India into South Australia in January when biosecurity officers realised there were a number of items missing from the consignment.

The company — which Federal figures have declined to name — was required to hold the goods until after a routine inspection, but instead decided to sell some of the items.

Federal Department of Agriculture head of biosecurity Andrew Tongue said the incident was a timely reminder that importers needed to understanding their legal obligations.

Mr Tongue the company had posed a “serious” food safety and biosecurity risk by distributing food subject to a food control certificate before an imported food inspection advice had been issued.

Food imported into Australia must comply with requirements set out in the Imported Food Control Act, and meet requirements in the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 — as well as relevant biosecurity conditions.

The company has fined $13,320 for allegedly contravening subsection 9(4) of the Imported Food Control Act 1992 by moving imported food without lawful authority or approval.

To find out more about importing food, visit awe.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/import/goods/food.

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