Developing standards under the Code

Find out how Standards under Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) are developed or amended, and how you can take part in this work.

The Board of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approves new standards or variations to food standards in accordance with policy guidelines set by the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council).

The process for setting or amending Standards

Before a Standard becomes a legal requirement under the Code, it goes through the following assessment process:

  • an initial assessment is prepared – this must be accepted by the FSANZ Board before the public is invited to comment
  • a draft assessment is developed – this reports on the public feedback and includes a scientific risk assessment, and risk and impact analyses of the proposed Standard, and sometimes a draft of the Standard
  • a final assessment is completed – this takes public responses into account, before being sent again to the FSANZ board for approval.

After each stage, the proposed Standard is available to the public for comment. Once the Standard is approved, the Ministerial Council is notified and also everyone who made submissions about it. The process can vary depending on the urgency or significance of the Standard.

Review process

The Ministerial Council can ask for the Standard to be reviewed up to 2 times, but if they don’t, it automatically becomes law in Australia and New Zealand. If after the second review, there are still concerns, they can revoke the draft Standard.

The process for amending the Code is described in the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act.

Australian Government ComLaw: Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (External website)

Public submissions to FSANZ

Applications to FSANZ proposing a change to food standards are made by individuals, organisations or companies from Australia, New Zealand or any other country. The public can make submissions to the initial and draft assessment reports prepared by FSANZ.

You can find out how to make a submission and also see the latest consultations on the FSANZ website. Click on Changing the code under the Food Standards menu at the left of the home page.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (External website)

MPI responds to issues raised in the assessment reports by writing submissions to each application and proposal. You can read MPI’s submissions on the page, FSANZ submissions, in the left-hand menu.