Caution on Sports Food Imports

The Dept of Agriculture has issued notice IFN 09-19 – Formulated supplementary sports food (updated), adding to the list of substances considered to pose a risk to human health.


The Department of Agriculture has issued Notice IFN 09-19 (issued 29 May 2019). It supersedes IFN 02/2019: Formulated supplementary sports food (updated) issued back in January. Its purpose is to advise importers of formulated supplementary sports that 1,4-dimethylpentylamine (DMPA) and Phenpromethamine have been added to the list of substances considered to pose a risk to human health, when found present as an ingredient in formulated supplementary sports foods.

Some formulated supplementary sports foods currently being imported are not compliant with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) and may pose a risk to human health.

Sports supplements – food or therapeutic goods?
These are foods specifically formulated to assist sports people in achieving specific nutritional or performance goals, examples include food supplements which are mixed (usually with water) and consumed pre-workout.

Some ‘sports supplements’, particularly those in tablet or capsule form, may be considered to be therapeutic goods, rather than formulated supplementary sports foods. The requirements of the Imported Food Control Act 1992 and the Code do not apply to therapeutic goods. Therefore, it is important to know whether the supplement products you import are food or therapeutic goods.

Some plants or fungi, or their derivatives, are also prohibited or restricted. They either cannot be added to food or can only be added in very limited circumstances. Synthetic versions of these substances are not suitable for use in food.

Also, some substances cannot be added to formulated supplementary sports foods because there is no permission to add them. Citrulline, commonly listed as citrulline malate, falls into this category.

If you import any formulated supplementary sports foods, take immediate steps to ensure the food complies with the Code. AIAU are licensed customs brokers and international freight forwarders. Talk to us if you have any questions regarding these regulations.


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