65-2017 - Update on temporary suspension of uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn products

​​​6 July 2017

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is of interest to importers of (certain/specific) uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat products and associated industry participants and retailers.

This notice provides further information to industry advice notice 64-2017.

What has changed?

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources confirms that:

  1. The import suspension on uncooked prawns will lapse at midnight on 6 July 2017.
  2. Enhanced import conditions will apply from 7 July 2017. These conditions can be found at Biosecurity advice 2017-12.

From 7 July 2017, uncooked prawns, marinated prawns, and Australian prawns processed overseas in a non-Australian government audited supply chain will be consolidated into one product class.

Exporting countries must confirm that this new class of uncooked prawns has been tested and found to be free of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) and Yellow Head Virus (YHV). These prawns are subject to 100 per cent secure seals intact inspection on-arrival in Australia and must again test negative for WSSV and YHV at an Australian screening laboratory before they can be released from biosecurity control.

The department has contacted importers individually regarding the variation of their suspended import permits to reflect the enhanced import conditions. No change has been made to the product description on the permit. For this reason, both marinated and uncooked prawn product descriptions still apply noting that the import conditions are now the same. As the department commences issuing new import permits the product descriptions will be amended.

Please note that all previously imported product that has received a notice of direction, must test negative for WSSV at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory before it can be released on to the market. This is because it was not subject to the risk management measures that will apply for future shipments.

Importers are responsible for ensuring that the conditions on the import permit are complied with before importing goods into Australia. This includes ensuring that there are relevant procedures in place for the exporting country to certify that the prawns are disease free and confirmation that a health certificate can be obtained.

As of 6 July 2017, Competent Authorities from Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia have provided written confirmation to the department that they can meet Australia’s import conditions.

The department is working closely with trading partners, including China, Indonesia, India and Bangladesh to ensure trade can be resumed as quickly as possible with these countries.

Further information

The department will provide further Import Industry Advice Notices once Competent Authorities confirm in writing that they can meet the enhanced import conditions.

Contact information

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

Biosecurity import conditions are available on the department’s Biosecurity Import Conditions database (BICON).