IFN 15-18 – Proposed changes to food safety import requirements for bivalve molluscs

​4 December 2018

Purpose

The purpose of this notice is to advise importers and brokers that consultation on proposed changes to food safety import requirements for bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS) has commenced.

Second consultation paper

In 2017, Australia released a consultation paper, Proposals for changes to the inspection and analysis of imported food – May 2017. The changes were notified internationally via a WTO/SPS notification (G/SPS/N/AUS/424). One of the proposed changes was to restrict the importation of bivalves and bivalve mollusc products, unless covered by a foreign government certificate.

In response to the comments received on the May 2017 consultation paper, we are seeking feedback from stakeholders on a second consultation paper. The paper provides more detail on the scope of products required to have government certification, the certification requirements, hazards required to be managed and details of border verification testing.

The Australian Government has prepared science-based risk statements on the hazards associated with bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products and these are published on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.

The risk advice emphasises the importance of these hazards being mitigated by harvesting bivalve molluscs from approved areas and ensuring producers follow a verified sanitation program. Certification will enable Australia to have assurance that through-chain production controls are in place to manage the hazards associated with the growing, harvesting and production of bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products. This will align the regulation of imported bivalves with domestic bivalve mollusc requirements in Australia.

Have Your Say

Visit Have your Say to access the second consultation paper and register:

  • for updates on the project
  • to make an online submission.

Submissions close Friday 8 February 2019.

Further information

More information about the proposed changes and previous consultation paper can be found on our webpage Changes to the inspection of risk food.