Importing Korean food
If you import or sell food and other products from Korea, you need to be aware of Australia’s import conditions.
Australia enjoys freedom from many harmful pests and diseases that occur in other parts of the world. It is vital to keep exotic pests and diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, out of Australia to protect our agriculture, industries and unique environment.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) is the Australian government authority that is responsible for keeping exotic pests and diseases out of Australia.
Biosecurity officers work at our international mail centres, airports and seaports. Each year DAFF screens and inspects millions of cargo containers, ships, mail parcels, passengers, luggage, animals and plants entering Australia. X-ray machines, surveillance and detector dogs are used to find items that do not meet import conditions.
What are import conditions?
Import conditions are a set of criteria that allow DAFF to determine if items coming into Australia could be carrying an unwanted pest or disease.
What you need to do
Importers and Brokers
If you import food or other products, you are responsible for knowing the import conditions that apply to your products. You can do this by checking the AQIS Import Conditions database (ICON). ICON will allow you to search for the items you wish to import and will determine if you need to apply for an import permit.
Import permits and associated documents must be complete and accurate so the broker can lodge these with both DAFF and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
Items that do not meet import conditions may be exported, destroyed or treated at the importer’s expense.
Imported food must also meet Australian food safety standards which are outlined in the ‘Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code’ and administered by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). This code can be found on the FSANZ website.
As a retailer you should ask your suppliers if their product meets all of Australia’s import conditions. If they cannot assure you that the product was imported legally then it is suggested that you not stock this product.
You are also encouraged to use the ICON database to check if an import permit is needed for your products. If one is needed, you should ask your supplier if they have obtained a valid import permit. Unfortunately, DAFF is unable to provide the details of those importers who have obtained import permits.
Contact DAFF for more information
List of DAFF Cargo contacts, in Korean language PDF [252kb]
AQIS has authority under the Quarantine Act 1908 to recover illegally imported items from retail outlets.
Compensation of seized goods
If you believe that your food products were incorrectly seized by DAFF, you can write a letter to us. In your letter you need to outline why you believe the goods should not have been seized, the amount of goods seized and approximate value.
Address your letter to:
Mr Wayne Terpstra
General Manager Industry Arrangements and Performance Branch
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Reporting suspect products is the right thing to do
If you are aware of any imported product that may not be allowed, you should express your concern to DAFF. By doing the right thing and reporting suspect products, this could save your business money.
There are several ways to inform DAFF of suspect products.
- Call the Biosecurity Red Line on 1800 803 006
- Email Biosecurity Reports
- Visit an DAFF office in your area.
This fact sheet is also available in Korean language.
23 Oct 2012