All biosecurity requirements must be met before Imported Food Inspection Scheme requirements apply.
Check our Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) for biosecurity import conditions.
Bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products are classified as risk food
This includes raw or processed:
Processing includes cooking, pasteurising, heating, drying, marinating and smoking.
Bivalve mollusc products includes all foods containing bivalve molluscs.
- Mixed food containing less than 500g/kg (50%) bivalve mollusc as an ingredient. Refer to the inspection and testing section for hazard specific exclusions.
- Food from New Zealand.
Restrictions on oyster imports
Oysters sourced from these areas are not permitted for import:
- Republic of Korea
- Northern and Western marine areas of Hiroshima Bay, Japan
- Marine area of Kure Bay in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.
Consignments of oysters from Japan must have their source verified in writing by a recognised competent authority.
Foreign government certificates (from 9 November 2023)
From 9 November 2023, consignments of bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products, excluding those that are both retorted and shelf stable, or dried (not semi-dried) must be covered by a recognised foreign government certificate.
When lodging a Full Import Declaration (FID), use the correct ICS document code and certificate number for the food.
Community Protection (CP) questions
You may need to answer one or more of these CP questions when lodging your full import declaration:
IFIS: Are the goods uncanned oysters (including pearl meat) harvested from either the Republic of Korea, or the northern and western marine areas of Hiroshima Bay, or the marine area of Kure Bay in Hiroshima prefecture, Japan?
IFIS: Are the goods, or do the goods contain, bivalve molluscs?
IFIS: Are the goods heat treated bivalve molluscs that require refrigeration (chilled or frozen) and do not require further cooking before consumption?
Inspection and testing
We refer consignments of bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products for analytical testing. During inspection, we will also conduct a visual and label assessment.
Table 1 shows the tests that will be applied and permitted results for each food type.
|Food type||Test applied||Permitted result|
|Bivalve molluscs, excluding scallops. Excludes product that is retorted and shelf stable.||Escherichia coli (E. coli)||n=5, c=1, m=2.3, M=7|
|Bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products||Domoic acid||20 mg/kg|
|Bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products excluding:
||Paralytic shellfish poison (PSP)||0.8 mg/kg|
|Bivalve molluscs that are heat treated and ready-to-eat. Excludes product that is retorted and shelf stable.||Listeria monocytogenes Note: An IFIS Importer declaration can be lodged for this food where it does not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes||n=5, c=0, m=not detected in 25 g|
n = the minimum number of sample units that must be examined from a lot of food.
c = the maximum allowable number of defective sample units, that have counts between ‘m’ and ‘M’.
m = the acceptable microbiological level in a sample unit.
M = the level, which when exceeded (the level is greater than M), in one or more samples would cause the lot to be rejected.
Food safety risks
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has given us advice about the risk of bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products.
These products present a potential medium or high risk to public health for:
- hepatitis A
- domoic acid
- paralytic shellfish poison.
Ready-to-eat processed bivalve molluscs are a potential medium or high risk for Listeria monocytogenes.
To make sure there are food safety controls in place to manage hazards associated with bivalve molluscs we will require foreign government certificates for imports of this food.
Voluntary foreign government certification arrangements
We have a voluntary certification arrangement in place with Thailand for processed bivalve molluscs (in place until November 2023). Consignments of processed bivalve molluscs from Thailand with a recognised government certificate have a reduced rate of inspection and testing.
|Type of information||To include|
|National competent authority:||Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives – Department of Fisheries|
|Recognised certificate title:||Health Certificate for fishery and aquaculture products originating in Thailand|
|Additional requirement:||The certificate must identify that the food has been sourced from an establishment approved by the Department of Fisheries, Thailand.|
|ICS document code:||DOFHCTH|
The government authority or official body authorised by the government that is responsible for the setting of regulatory food safety requirements and/or for the organization of official controls including enforcement.
Heat treated includes pasteurised, cooked and smoked.
Food is ready-to-eat if it is ordinarily consumed in the same state as that in which it is sold.
To avoid doubt, food is not ordinarily consumed in the same state as that in which it is sold if, before it is consumed, it requires further processing (such as cooking) to reduce any pathogenic microorganisms potentially present in the food to safe levels.
Animal products are retorted if they are heated in a hermetically sealed container to a minimum core temperature of 100°C, obtaining an F0 value of at least 2.8.
Goods are shelf-stable if the:
- goods have been commercially manufactured
- goods have been packaged by the manufacturer
- goods are in that package
- package has not been opened or broken
- goods are able to be stored in the package at room or ambient temperature, and
- goods do not require refrigeration or freezing before the package is opened.
|Date||Reference number||Amendment details|
|01/12/2021||MOL 12/2021||The date of commencement has been extended to 9 November 2023, for consignments of bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products, excluding those that are both retorted and shelf-stable, or dried (not semi-dried), that must be covered by a recognised foreign government certificate.|
|10/11/2020||MOL 11/2020||From November 2022, consignments of bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products, excluding those that are both retorted and shelf stable, or dried (not semi-dried) must be covered by a recognised foreign government certificate.|
|12/04/2017||MOL 04/2017||Commence analysis of biotoxins in retorted bivalve molluscs and reduce range of foods analysed for paralytic shellfish poisons.|
|1/5/2014||MOL 05/2014||Replaces Imported Food Notice 09/12 Tests applied to risk category foods|