We have completed our Review of the biosecurity risks of prawns imported from all countries for human consumption. The final report included proposed import conditions. Publication of the final report represented the end of the process.
Comment was sought on the import conditions proposed in the final report. The department received comments from three stakeholders. These comments were considered when finalising the import conditions.
- The new import conditions for prawns and prawn products for human consumption are published on BICON. These changes will only be applied to import permits for applications received on or after 30 October 2023. Permit applications that were received prior to this date will continue to receive the current import conditions, and existing import permits will not be varied to reflect the new conditions.
- We will continue to closely monitor imports of prawns and prawn products to ensure that the import conditions continue to manage biosecurity risks appropriately.
Final report summary
The final report was the result of rigorous scientific review, public consultation and analysis of the provisional final report on biosecurity risks of importation of non-viable, farm-sourced, frozen, uncooked, whole prawns into Australia.
The report details:
- diseases of biosecurity concern
- risk assessments for the identified diseases
- recommended risk management measures.
The final report identified disease agents that need specific risk management measures. These agents are:
- “Candidatus Hepatobacter penaei” (chilled product only)
- covert mortality nodavirus
- decapod iridescent virus 1
- Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP)
- infectious myonecrosis virus
- Laem-Singh virus
- Taura syndrome virus
- Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains containing Pir toxins
- white spot syndrome virus (WSSV)
- yellow head virus genotype 1 (YHV1).
Recommended risk management measures
In the final report, we recommended prawns continue to be imported into Australia, provided they comply with strengthened biosecurity measures in the table below.
Summary of prawn import conditions
|Cooked||Uncooked||Breaded, battered and crumbed||Highly processed product||Sourced from disease-free populations|
Competent Authority (CA): veterinary or other government authority of a member country responsible for implementation of aquatic animal health and welfare measures, international health certification and other standards and recommendations in the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) Aquatic animal health code.
WSSV: white spot syndrome virus.
YHV1: yellow head virus genotype 1.
Labelled: packaged prawns marked “For human consumption only. Not to be used as bait or feed for aquatic animals”.
Australia has issued a Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Notification to the World Trade Organization (WTO) SPS Committee to inform its trading partners of the release of the final report and of the proposed changes to import conditions for prawns and prawn products. Trading partners have 60 days to comment on the proposed import conditions.
Preparation of the final report
The final report was prepared with consideration of supporting reports and new information, including:
- Outcomes of the 2019–20 National recreational fishing survey - Prawn use by recreational fishers for bait and berley.
- Outcomes of research - the University of Arizona (United States) was commissioned to investigate the effect of freezing on the infectivity of EHP, and the effect of cooking to a core temperature on WSSV and YHV1 infectivity.
- Recommendations from the members of the scientific advisory group on the draft report and provisional final report.
- Submissions received during the stakeholder consultation period on the draft report.
- other new information, including testing of imported prawns for emerging diseases.
Download final report
Review of the biosecurity risks of prawns imported from all countries for human consumption – Final report (PDF 6.7 MB)
Review of the biosecurity risks of prawns imported from all countries for human consumption – Final report (DOCX 5.2 MB)
Download supporting reports
The 2019–20 National recreational fishing survey - Prawn use by recreational fishers for bait and berley.
Download reports from members of the scientific advisory group
Download reports from University of Arizona
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