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Uncooked Prawns

Suspension of Imported Uncooked Prawns

The Director of Biosecurity suspended imports of the following class of goods for a period of six months effective from 00:00:01 hours (Australian eastern daylight savings time) on 9 January 2017:

  • uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat; and
  • uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat that have been marinated for human consumption.

The following class of goods are exempt from the suspension:

  • uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat sourced from New Caledonia;
  • uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat processed into dumplings, spring rolls, samosas, other dim sum-type products and other similar products;
  • uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat which have been coated for human consumption by being breaded, crumbed or battered.

The Director of Biosecurity’s suspension is based on existing import conditions and their application being insufficient to meet Australia’s appropriate level of sanitary protection due to the risk of white spot syndrome virus (white spot disease).  White spot disease is a highly contagious viral infection that affects crustaceans. White spot disease does not pose a human health risk.

Clearance of uncooked prawns already shipped

Goods that are within the suspended class of goods that have been shipped but have not arrived in Australia, or have arrived but not been released from biosecurity control, will be permitted entry where the documented final/master Bill of Lading date at the port of origin is on or before 8 January 2017. These goods will be subject to a new and enhanced inspection regime, which will include a secure-seals intact direction, 100% inspection of the consignment and sampling inspection and testing of all consignments. Importers may choose to export the goods if they do not wish to have them inspected. Interference with the goods prior to inspection by a biosecurity officer will result in a direction to export being issued and possible civil or criminal prosecution.

Goods within the suspended class of goods with a documented final/master Bill of Lading date at the port of origin of 9 January 2017 or later are suspended and if imported to Australia will be required to be exported or destroyed at the importers expense.

Import permits for uncooked prawns

If you hold an import permit for goods that have been suspended, your import permit will be suspended. This suspension will take effect from 9 January 2017 until 9 July 2017.

If your import permit allows for suspended goods and exempt goods your permit will be amended to remove the suspended goods.
If you have any questions regarding your import permit, you should contact the department’s Animal and Biological Import Assessments Branch on 1 800 900 090 or email Imports.

Further information is available on the Questions​ and answers page.

Contact information

If you require further information please call 1800 900 090 or email Imports.