Food importers warned of heavy fines
Food importers are on notice to comply with Australian government regulation with Queensland's B&E Packaging fined $7,500 and court costs for breaching Australian importing requirements.
The Department of Agriculture's First Assistant Secretary for Border Compliance, Colin Hunter, said importers are responsible for ensuring that all food imported into Australia complies with standards set out in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
"There can be costly consequences for breaching requirements as one food importer recently discovered," Hunter said.
Xu Chun Dong, company director for B&E Packaging, appeared before the Southport Magistrates Court in Brisbane last week and was charged with one count of breaching section 9(1A) of the Imported Food Control Act 1992 – offences relating to dealing with examinable food.
Under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme, managed by the department, 1500kg of cooked and peeled prawns imported by B&E Packaging from Vietnam was subject to mandatory inspection and testing.
The company failed to undertake the required testing and released the prawns without authorisation.
Hunter stressed the importance of all imported food meeting stringent food standards and importation requirements.
"Importers must comply with government requirements for the testing and inspection of food," Hunter said.
"Blatant or deliberate disregard of Australia's food safety and importing requirements will not be tolerated.
"Where necessary regulatory requirements will be enforced and may result in matters being referred to the Court."
For more information on requirements for importing food into Australia visit Importing Food to Australia.
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