Note: The revised Code came into effect on 1 March 2016. View it here.
The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code was first published on 20 December 2000.
An audit of the legal efficacy of the Code was conducted following a decision of the New South Wales Supreme Court in 2009. FSANZ prepared Proposal P1025 to revise the Code to address the issues identified in the audit and in consultation with regulators.
FSANZ issued an initial round of public consultation in May 2013, followed by a second round in July 2014.
Access the Proposal and consultation documents.
FSANZ approved the proposed Code variation in December 2014. The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) was notified of FSANZ’s decision on 15 December 2014. Read FSANZ’s approval report.
The Forum formally notified FSANZ on 12 February 2015 that no review of FSANZ's decision was requested.
The revised Code was gazetted on 10 April 2015 and came into effect on 1 March 2016. It can be viewed here.
View the transcript
Questions and answers about the revised Code
Why has the Code changed?
FSANZ reviewed the Code to make the requirements clearer and to ensure it better meets the needs of stakeholders. The Code is enforced in Australia by state and territory authorities, the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture for imported food and the Ministry for Primary Industries in New Zealand. One of the reasons for changing the Code was to ensure it was more closely aligned with the food Acts of the Australian and New Zealand Governments and Australian states and territories, which rely on requirements to be clearly stated. The changes will reduce uncertainty when it comes to code enforcement issues.
When did the changes take effect?
The changes took effect on 1 March 2016, with no transition period.
Was the whole Code been updated?
The whole Code wasn’t been updated. Changes were made to Chapters 1 and 2, with the schedules attached to standards in those Chapters becoming stand-alone schedules.
While the Code will look different there have been no major changes. The changes that have been made include updating the wording to clarify key areas, such as:
the Code’s requirements; to make it clearer who has to comply
provisions relating to food additives, processing aids and nutritive substances
food composition requirements, to clarify when a requirement is:
- legally required for the sale of a product, or is
- a prerequesite to a permission, for example to add a food additive.
A dictionary of defined terms that will help users navigate the Code more easily is also included in the revised Code.
How will the various industry stakeholders benefit from the changes? e.g. food service businesses, manufacturers, enforcement agencies?
All industry stakeholders will benefit from a clearer, easier to follow, and in-turn, easier to enforce Code. Both the current and revised provisions have been developed with regard to the main objective of protecting public health and safety and ensuring that Australia and New Zealand has a safe food supply.
Are there any significant changes that stakeholders should be aware of?
The intent of the Code has not changed, however the intent may be considered in other applications or proposals. The changes made in P1025 were all aimed at improving the communication of the Code’s requirements.
Do stakeholders need to do anything to prepare for or following implementation of the new Code?
If you are involved in producing, manufacturing or selling food you should review the requirements that relate to your products and ensure you meet all the requirements of the Code.
Access a table that shows how current Code provisions have been translated to the revised Code here: