Australia - Country Commercial Guide
Standards for Trade

Describes standards, identifies the national standards, accreditation bodies, and lists the national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies.

Last published date: 2021-08-19

Overview

Australia still has in place various standards that can affect product entry, and while these may require product modifications they are not insurmountable obstacles to U.S. companies.

Standards

Standards Australia is Australia’s national standards body. While not a government agency, Standards Australia is recognized as the leading standards development body in Australia. In partnership with SAI Global Ltd., an information services company, it delivers standards and related products to industry.

Standards Australia has more than 70 members, representing groups with an interest in the development and application of standards. It is Australia’s representative on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electro technical Commission (IEC), and the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC).

Standards Australia develops and maintains more than 7,000 Australian standards, and provides input into the development of approximately 18,000 international standards.

International Standards by ISO and IEC

Standards Australia has a policy of adopting international standards wherever possible. This policy is in line with Australia’s obligations under the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT Agreement) Code of Practice. As a result, approximately 33% of current Australian standards are fully or substantially aligned with international standards. Areas of industry where no significant international standards exist include building, construction, and occupational health and safety. Around one third of Australian standards have no international equivalent.

Imported consumer products, such as food products, must comply with state government packaging regulations. Australian states agree that any non-farm product, including imports, meeting the legal requirements of one state may be sold in all other states and territories. State agricultural quarantines prohibit interstate trade of some items.

American exporters of food products to Australia will find their product falling under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) developed the code’s standards. This is a bi-national independent statutory authority that develops food standards for composition, labeling and contaminants, including microbiological limits, that apply to all foods produced or imported for sale in Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, FSANZ develops standards to cover the entire supply chain for food, from primary producers through manufacturing and processing to delivery and point of sale.

The DAWE (https://www.awe.gov.au/),  is responsible for enforcing the Standards Code for imported foods. Both Standards Australia and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have current information on Australian standards.

The ACMA mandates technical standards relating to items of customer equipment, customer cabling, and other devices. These standards include the Electromagnetic Compatibility Arrangements (EMC) and Electromagnetic Radiation Arrangements (EMR). Before a product covered by the EMC regulatory arrangements can be sold in Australia, it must comply with applicable standards and be labeled. The label consists of a mark called “C-Tick” and a unique supplier identification. The C-Tick mark is intended for use on products that comply with EMC standards.

The Australian Department of the Environment develops and implements national policy, programs and legislation to protect and conserve Australia’s environment and heritage. Safety-related automotive parts and accessories on a vehicle for environmental compliance must adhere to Australian Design Rules and Australian automotive standards as well as environmental compliance. The supply of OE (Original Equipment) automotive parts must adhere to Quality System QS9000, the system adopted in the U.S. by Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) oversees issuing approvals for all medical devices and health-related products.

Testing, Inspection & Certification

SAI Global provides organizations around the world with information services and solutions for managing risk, achieving compliance, and driving business improvement.

Several voluntary and mandatory labels and marks indicating standards conformity are used in Australia. Information about the required labels can be found by contacting the relevant standards organization.

Some electrical products are required to carry an approved energy efficiency label. These products include: refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers, and air conditioners. A larger list is regulated based on minimum energy efficiency levels and includes the preceding list as well as electrical motors and transformers. The National Appliance and Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee, consisting of officials from the Commonwealth, state, and territory government agencies and representatives from New Zealand, is responsible for managing the Australian end-use energy efficiency program.

Publication of technical regulations

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the TBT Agreement to notify to the WTO proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures that could affect trade. 

NotifyUS (https://tsapps.nist.gov/notifyus/data/index/index.cfm ) is a free, web-based e-mail registration service that captures and makes available for review and comment key information on draft regulations and conformity assessment procedures. Users receive customized e-mail alerts when new notifications are added by selected country(ies) and industry sector(s) of interest and can also request full texts of regulations.  This service and its associated web site are managed and operated by the USA WTO TBT Inquiry Point housed within the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In an agreement with Standards Australia, SAI Global Ltd. is the lead publisher of Australian Standards as well as other standards such as ISO, DIN (German Institute for Standardization), IEC, and Japan Standards Association.

For more information on Australian standards please contact John Kanawati, Commercial Specialist, Email: john.kanawati@trade.gov