2021-17: Singapore: Import of frozen pearl oyster meat from Australia to Singapore

Date of issue:  03 August 2021

Date of effect:  Immediately

Reference number:  MAA2021-17

Attention:

  • Industries—Industry bodies, Seafood Export Consultative Committee
  • Export establishments
  • Licensed exporters
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment—Central and Regional offices

Purpose

This Market Access Advice (MAA) provides information on the export of frozen pearl oyster meat (adductor muscle only) from Australia to Singapore.

Summary of key points

  • On 18 June 2021, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) completed a risk assessment and review of the import controls for frozen pearl oyster meat (adductor muscle only) and reclassified the product from ‘frozen oyster’ to “fish and fish products”.
  • As a result, exports of frozen pearl oyster meat to Singapore are no longer required to be accompanied by the health certificate for oysters.
  • The re-classification by SFA of pearl oyster meat as a fishery product also means that the mandatory norovirus testing for all frozen oysters exported to Singapore does not apply to pearl oyster meat.
  • SFA now require that frozen pearl oyster meat comply with the following requirements:
    1. The pearl oysters from which the meat products are derived are harvested and processed by an establishment regulated by the competent authority in the exporting country.
    2. The pearl oyster meat products are processed under hygienic and sanitary conditions.
    3. The pearl oyster meat products meet the Singapore Food Regulations and SFA’s import requirements.
  • To meet SFA’s requirements, the department can now issue a FX46 Certificate as to Condition, with no additional endorsement.

Background:

  • Previously, SFA had considered frozen pearl oyster meat as a frozen oyster product. Frozen oysters are considered a high-risk food category and imports into Singapore must be accompanied with a health certificate attesting, that the pearl oysters are sourced from approved waters in accordance with the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program (ASQAP).
  • In October 2020, the department wrote to SFA to seek exemption from the requirement to harvest pearl oysters from approved waters when the product for export is pearl meat (adductor muscle only) as the removal of viscera mitigates the risks associated with the harvest areas for bivalve molluscs.  

The department also requested the reassessment of the requirement for the testing of frozen pearl meat for norovirus, on the basis that the product was the abductor muscle only.

Further information

Contact ExportStandards@awe.gov.au if you have any queries.

The information provided in this advice is current at the time of writing and is intended for use as guidance only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. The Commonwealth endeavours to keep information current and accurate, however, it may be subject to change without notice. Exporters are encouraged to verify these details with their importers prior to undertaking production/exports. The Commonwealth will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on information contained in this notice.

Last reviewed: 4 August 2021
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