Australia and New Zealand food regulatory system

There are 2 agreements that underpin the food regulatory system in Australia and New Zealand.

  1. Agreement between the Governments of Australia and New Zealand concerning a Joint Food Standards System

    The purpose of this agreement is to adopt ‘a joint system for the development of food standards.

    This agreement was signed in 1995 and resulted in the introduction of the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code (external site) which by December 2002 was, and still remains, the sole set of food standards across the 2 countries.

    It should be noted that for the purposes of the operation of the food regulatory system, New Zealand is considered to be just like any other Australian State or Territory.

  2. Food Regulation Agreement (FRA) 2000 (as amended 2002 and 2008)

    The purpose of this agreement is to establish ‘a national approach to food regulation within Australia’.

    The FRA promotes a cooperative approach to food regulation, where the responsibility for food safety is across all levels of government, and considers ways of reducing the regulatory burden on the food sector.

How the food regulatory system works

There are 3 key functions of the food regulation system:

  • policy development
  • standard setting
  • implementation.

Policy development

COAG Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation (FoFR) is responsible for:

  • the development of domestic food regulation policy
  • developing policy guidelines
  • setting the domestic food standards.

The FoFR also has the ability to accept, amend or reject food safety legislation.

The FoFR is supported by the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) which ensures a nationally consistent approach to the implementation and enforcement of food safety legislation.

Standard setting

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is an independent authority responsible for developing the food safety standards at the request of FoFR.


The Implementation Subcommittee of Food Regulation ensures a consistent approach to the implementation and enforcement of the food safety legislation.

Read more on the roles of following groups within the food regulatory system:

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