The Implementation Subcommittee for Food Regulation (ISFR)

Implementation and enforcement of food regulation

Page last updated: 02 June 2014

Australia and New Zealand have a joint food regulation system. Essentially, there are three parts to the system—the setting of food policy; the making of food standards and the implementation and enforcement of food regulation.

Australian state and territory and New Zealand government agencies are responsible for implementing, monitoring and enforcing food regulation through their individual food Acts and other food-related legislation. These agencies vary between jurisdictions. The Department of Agriculture enforces the Food Standards Code at the border in relation to imported food.

Implementation Subcommittee for Food Regulation

Food regulation authorities in Australia and New Zealand work together to ensure food regulations are implemented and enforced consistently. This work is done through the Implementation Subcommittee for Food Regulation (ISFR), through face-to-face meetings, out-of-session business and separate collaborations.

ISFR was set up by the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) to foster a consistent approach across jurisdictions to implementing and enforcing food regulation. The ISFR terms of reference were endorsed by FRSC on 2 May 2014.
PDF printable version of the ISFR terms of reference

ISFR members are either heads of agencies or senior operational experts who can make and implement decisions about compliance and enforcement issues in their jurisdictions.

ISFR is not an enforcement authority in its own right. It allows Australian and New Zealand food regulators to discuss common approaches to implementation and develop agreed strategies to achieve a consistent approach to the way food regulations are implemented, interpreted and enforced across jurisdictions. ISFR has developed a Strategy for Consistent Implementation and Enforcement of Food Regulation in Australia.

While all jurisdictions involved in food regulation work together on implementing and enforcing food regulation, there are sometimes differences in the way jurisdictions administer food law. Due to ISFR’s consultative nature, it helps jurisdictions to minimise these differences as much as possible

ISFR’s role applies equally to imported, exported and domestically produced food.

ISFR’s key role is monitoring the safety of the food supply and compliance with food laws. Members develop a surveillance plan which identifies and prioritises survey activities. The resulting food survey reports are made publicly available.