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Plain English Allergen Labelling: New allergen labelling information requirements will be in effect from 25 Feb 2024 | Learn more

Changing the code

The Food Standards Code can be changed through an application or a proposal. Proposals are prepared by FSANZ.

Anyone can apply to change the Code. However, before you make an application you should determine whether the food product you want to supply com​plies with existing requirements in the Food Standards Code.

You can contact us for pre-application assistance before submitting an application. Read more about pre-application assistance.  

Applications must meet the requirements in Part 3 of the Application Handbook. For application or proposal enquiries email standards.management@foodstandards.gov.au

Maximum residue limit (MRL) variations, MRL harmonisation requests and enquiries should be sent to MRL.Contact@foodstandards.gov.au​

Publication of applications

All applications and submissions are published on our website, where appropriate, noting the need to protect confidential information from disclosure. Following assessment of applications, FSANZ assessment reports and any supporting documents will be published on the website. Supporting documents for applications will be published with the first assessment summary. 

Confidential information

FSANZ accepts confidential information from applicants and other stakeholders to develop and maintain food standards.

FSANZ takes its obligation to protect information that it has accepted as confidential very seriously. FSANZ recognises that some who provide information to FSANZ may wish for that information to be kept confidential as it may be commercially or personally sensitive, or have a significant commercial or financial value to the person or entity providing it.

What is confidential information

Confidential information is any information that is subject to a legal obligation or requirement to keep that information confidential.

What applicants can do to help

Applicants must identify any information in their application that they consider to be confidential commercial information or otherwise confidential. This information can be provided in the application or separately.

What we do with the information

FSANZ has obligations under Australian law to ensure that it develops, documents, implements and reviews appropriate measures to protect confidential information from unauthorised use or accidental modification, loss or release.

When an applicant identifies information in their application as confidential information, FSANZ will assess that information and if FSANZ does not agree that all or a part of the information is confidential, the applicant will receive a letter explaining FSANZ's decision. The applicant will be provided three options:

  • The option to request FSANZ reconsider their decision - the applicant must outline reasons for requesting the reconsideration and can attach supporting information.
  • The option to withdraw some or all of the material FSANZ decided was not confidential information, allowing FSANZ to progress considering an application based on its remaining content as part of its assessment. 
  • The option to accept the decision, allowing FSANZ to retain the information for assessment purposes, and to make that information available for public access with the rest of the application.

Fees

We don’t charge a fee for assessing an application unless:

  • we determine that an applicant has an exclusive capturable commercial benefit (ECCB) or
  • an applicant wants work to start on the assessment immediately, rather than according to the anticipated timeframes established as part of the Administrative Assessment.

See Part 2 of the Application Handbook and the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement for further information.

Consultation

FSANZ consults publicly on all applications and proposals to change the Code and welcomes feedback from the community. The scope of consultation varies depending on the extent of changes being proposed and the effects of those changes on different sectors of the community.

Our processes are open, accountable and consultative. Comments ('submissions') are invited to obtain stakeholder feedback on the effects of any regulatory options. Submissions are published on our website unless a submitter requests that their submission be kept confidential and it is accepted by FSANZ as confidential. Issues raised in public submissions are evaluated and addressed in our assessment reports. The details of confidential submissions will not be published in assessment reports. ​

We base our decisions on the best available scientific evidence and are committed to ensuring sufficient evidence is collected, including from outside experts if necessary. In some situations the best available scientific evidence is irrefutable. In others, there might be conflicting scientific views, a lack of evidence or some uncertainty in the science. Where the evidence is in dispute, we will ensure that we set out the reasons for our  decisions.

You can read more about the risk analysis process in Risk Analysis in Food Regulation.

Statutory timeframes

We are required under our legislation to finalise applications within stipulated periods of time, depending on the type of procedure. Part 2 of the Application Handbook has more information about the different types of procedures and time limits.

More information

Page last updated 4 January 2024