Registration licensing and notifications by local governments

Several registrations, approvals, licences or notifications are required to be submitted to local government enforcement agencies for specific businesses, individuals or home owners to ensure activities do not impact on public health. 

These are required under the:

  • Food Act 2008
  • Public Health Act 2016

The following information is designed for local government authorised officers / Environmental Health Officers. 

Food Act registration or notifications

The following table details the responsibilities of local governments (LG), Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Agriculture Water and Environment (DAWE) including:

  • registration
  • notification and
  • enforcement activities

for food businesses. It also outlines the primary regulatory requirement for various food business activities under the Food Act 2008 and Food Standards Code.

The Local government and Department of Health food business responsibilities table (PDF 150KB) is also available to download. 

Table: Enforcement agency responsibilities for various food business activities and applicable regulatory requirements (refer to table key below)

Type of food business Regulatory requirement Food Safety Plan Requirement Registration / Notification Verification authority Appropriate enforcement agency / Controlling Authority Auditing arrangement
Retailers
  • cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, supermarkets and food retail outlets, takeaways
  • charities, community groups and volunteers that are selling food
  • school canteens
  • mobile food vans
  • markets and temporary events
  • food manufacturers 
  • food prepared in residential homes intended for sale
Standard 3.2.2, 3.2.3 NA LG LG LG NA
Food retail businesses not within a district (Kings Park and Rottnest, WA Athletic Stadium and the WA Basketball Centre) Standard 3.2.2, 3.2.3 NA DOH DOH DOH NA
Vulnerable populations
Hospitals - Public Standard 3.3.1 Food Safety Program in accordance with Standard 3.2.1 DOH DOH DOH RFSA
Hospitals – Private Standard 3.3.1 Food Safety Program in accordance with Standard 3.2.1 LG LG LG RFSA
Cafe in hospital Standard 3.2.2, 3.2.3 NA LG NA LG NA
Aged Care Facility (private, public) Standard 3.3.1 Food Safety Program in accordance with Standard 3.2.1 LG LG LG RFSA
Child Care Centres Standard 3.3.1 Food Safety Program in accordance with Standard 3.2.1 LG LG LG RFSA
Delivered Meal Organisations, Hospice, same day chemotherapy Standard 3.3.1 Food Safety Program in accordance with Standard 3.2.1 LG LG LG RFSA
Dairy
Retail sales (limited distribution, small scale, shop front sales, no pasteurising) Standard 3.2.2, 3.2.3 NA LG LG LG LG
Dairy primary production (dairy farm)

Dairy transporter (collection of milk from farm transport to processor)

Dairy Processor, manufacturer (pasteurising milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream)

Standard 4.2.4 Food Safety Program in accordance with Standard 3.21. DOH DOH DOH RFSA
Export dairy processing Standard 4.2.4 Approved arrangements DAWE registration

DOH notification

DAWE DOH (domestic)

DAWE (export)

DAWE
Dairy stores Standard 4.2.4 Food Safety Program in accordance with Standard 3.2.1 DOH / DAWE as determined DOH / DAWE as determined DOH / DAWE as determined DOH / DAWE as determined
Meat for human consumption
Export Abattoir Tier 2 (unrestricted market) AS4696
AS4464
Approved arrangements DAWE registration DAWE DOH (domestic)

DAWE (export)

DAWE
Export Abattoir Tier 1 (export to restricted markets)

Boning Room

AS4696
AS4464
Approved arrangements DAWE registration

DOH notification

DOH DOH DOH / DAWE
Abattoir domestic AS4696 Approved arrangements LG registration DOH LG enforcement

DOH controlling authority

DOH
Meat processing (including rabbit, emu, crocodile, wild game) UCFM, ready to eat meat

Wholesale supply

Standard 4.2.3
AS 4696
AS 4466
AS 5010
AS 4467
AS 4464
Approved arrangements LG DOH LG enforcement

DOH controlling authority

DOH
Meat transporter (meat that has been processed), wholesale supply AS4696 Approved arrangements LG LG / DOH on case by case (contact DOH for advice) LG enforcement

DOH controlling authority

DOH
Meat retail small scale, shop front, only Standard 3.2.2, 3.2.3 NA LG LG LG LG
Processing UCFM, retail sales, small scale, shop front Standard 4.2.3 Food safety management system in accordance with Standard 4.2.3 LG LG / DOH on case by case (contact DOH for advice) LG enforcement

DOH controlling authority

LG
Rendering premises (breaking down animal by products) for human consumption AS 5008 Approved arrangements LG DOH LG enforcement

DOH controlling authority

DOH
Processing ready to eat meat retail sales, small scale shop front Standard 3.2.2, 3.2.3 NA (case by case) LG LG LG LG
Ready to eat retail

Modified atmosphere packaging

Standard 4.2.3 Food safety management system in accordance with Standard 4.2.3 LG LG/DOH case by case LG LG/DOH case by case
Pet meat
Pet meat harvest in field Local laws NA NA NA LG NA
Pet meat processing / abattoir, knackery, rendering, wholesale supply Food Regulations

Division 4

NA LG registration NA LG NA
Retail pet meat processor Food Regulations

Division 4

NA LG notification only NA LG NA
Poultry
Poultry producer Standard 4.2.2 General food safety management LG LG LG LG
Poultry processing AS4465 Quality Assurance Arrangements LG DOH LG enforcement

DOH controlling authority

DOH
Export poultry processing AS4465 Quality Assurance Arrangements LG DOH DAWE (export)

DOH (domestic)

DAWE
Poultry retail premises Standard 3.2.2, 3.2.3 NA LG NA LG LG
Seafood
Primary production, processing of seafood Food Regulations Clause 4
Standard 4.2.1
Comply with General Seafood Safety Management Clauses LG NA LG NA
Seafood processing premises Standard 4.2.1 Standards 3.2.2, 3.2.3 NA LG NA LG NA
Primary production and harvesting of bivalve molluscs Standard 4.2.1 Documented food safety management systems DOH DOH DOH DOH
Export shellfish estuary and harvest management Standard 4.2.1 Approved arrangements DAWE registration,

DOH notification

DAWE DOH DOH
Export fish handling and processing, fishing vessels Standard 4.2.1 Approved arrangements DAWE registration,

DOH notification

DAWE DAWE DAWE
Eggs
Eggs production, processing Standard 4.2.5 Food safety management statement LG LG LG LG
Export egg production, processing   Approved arrangements DAWE registration DAWE DAWE DAWE
Horticulture
Seed sprout processing Standard 4.2.6 General food safety management requirements LG LG LG LG

Table key:

Registration Requirement of food business in accordance with Section 110 of the Food Act 2008 and Section 111 of the Export Control Act 2020. Export food businesses registered under section 111 of the Export Control Act 2020 are exempt from complying with section 110 by Regulatin 13 of the Food Regulation 2009 
Notification Requirement of food business in accordance with accordance with Section 107 of the Food Act 2008.
Regulatory requirements Principle food safety related legislation applicable to the food business activities (not exhaustive).
Department of Health (DOH) Environmental Health Directorate of the Department of Health of Western Australia 
Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment (DAWE) Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment
Food safety plan requirements The legislative requirement that describes how the food business must identify, control, monitor and document the management of food safety hazards.
Approved arrangements Food businesses that export food, an approved arrangement is required by the Department of Agriculture and Water and Environment in accordance with the Export Control Act 2020.  The arrangement documents food safety processes and practices that provide for Export Certification. Food businesses that that are required to comply with Australian Standards in Section 18 of the Food Regulations 2009 need an approved arrangement as described in the relevant Standard.
Verification authority The authority responsible for verifying the accuracy of the documented food safety plan or approved arrangement.
Enforcement agency The agency responsible for compliance and enforcement of the requirements of the Food Act 2008, Food Regulations 2009, Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code identified by Regulation 4 and 5 of the Food Regulations 2009 in relation to the activities of the food business. 
Controlling authority The authority conducting verification and auditing activities in relation to the food businesses required to comply with Australian Standards in Regulation 18 of the Food Regulations 2009.
Auditing arrangements Describes which agency or auditor nominated by the Enforcement / Controlling Agency conducts audits of the food safety program or approved arrangement requirement.
NA Not Applicable
Standard The relevant Food Safety Standard applicable in accordance with the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code
AS The Australian Standard identified in the Food Regulations 2009
Tier 1 Abattoir Abattoir processing meat which can be exported to a ‘restricted’ number of predetermined international countries.
Tier 2 Abattoir Auditor abattoir processing meat which can be exported to an ‘unrestricted’ number of international countries.
Regulatory Food Safety Auditor (RFSA) Approved by the DOH under Section 94 of the Food Act 2008 to undertake regulatory food safety audits of the food business food safety plan.  

Food businesses should refer to registration of a food business for more information. 

Exempt food businesses - notification requirements

The Food Act 2008 (the Act) (external site) provides for certain types of food businesses to be exempt from the requirements of registration. These types of food businesses are prescribed within the Food Regulations 2009 (external site).

Exempted food businesses, not subject to registration requirements, are still subject to the notification requirements contained within Standard 3.2.2 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (external site).

However exempted food businesses must still notify the appropriate enforcement agency of their intention to undertake food business activities prior to doing so.

How does an exempted food business notify?

To notify an exempted food business, the following information must be submitted:

  • contact details of the food business including:
    • the name of the food business
    • the name and business address of the proprietor of the food business
  • the nature of the food business
  • the location of all food premises of the food business that are within the jurisdiction of the enforcement agency
    any other information deemed necessary by the enforcement agency
  • any fee set by the enforcement agency.

Enforcement agencies must have their own notification form.

What is the purpose of notification?

Notification ensures that anyone handling food intended for sale is provided with appropriate information and guidance on how to prepare food safely.

It also assists such persons in understanding their legal obligations in relation to selling food to the public.

The notification process also ensures that enforcement agencies are aware of all food business activities being conducted within their district, which is important for food safety surveillance and compliance activities.

What types of food businesses are exempted from registration?

The Food Regulations prescribe a number of food businesses as exempted from registration. These are businesses that:

  • are conducted solely for charitable or community purposes and prepare food that is not potentially hazardous or foods that, after being appropriately cooked, are served for immediate consumption (regulation 10)
  • sell certain packaged food (regulation 11)
  • provide complimentary drinks in conjunction with another kind of business (regulation 12)
  • form part of premises registered under the Australian Government’s Export Control Act 1982 (regulation 13).

Is there a fee for notification?

With the exception of food businesses conducted solely for charitable and community purposes, an enforcement agency can impose and recover a fee for notification under the Local Government Act 1995 Part 6 Division 5 Subdivision 2.

Information for enforcement agencies

  • All food businesses must comply with the requirements of the Food Act. The exemption for certain food businesses only applies to the requirement for registration. All of the enforcement and compliance mechanisms available to enforcement agencies under the Food Act can still be utilised for exempted food businesses.
  • Each enforcement agency must prepare and maintain a list of food business notified to the agency in respect of any premises.
  • Section 107 only applies to those food businesses that fit within the categories of exemptions contained within the Food Regulations. All other food businesses must apply for registration under Section 110 of the Food Act. This section provides the mechanism for approval of a food business. Section 108(b) specifically states that any food business that is required to be registered is exempt from Section107 and the notification requirements of Standard 3.2.2 clause 4 of the Code.
Public Health Act registration or licences

Part 8 of the Public Health Act 2016 provides a framework for the registration and/or licensing of activities declared by the regulations to be public health risk activities.

Stage 5 of implementation of the Public Health Act will identify a range of public health activities that may require registration and/or licensing by local government or the Department of Health.

Refer to registration and licensing for an overview of Part 8. 

Last reviewed: 31-08-2021
Produced by

Environmental Health Directorate

For queries related to the Food Act 2008 email foodsafety@health.wa.gov.au 

For queries related to the Public Health Act 2016 email publicheatlhact@health.wa.gov.au