2016-08 - Biotoxin management for scallops in 2016

​​Update:  22 July 2016

Date of effect: midnight Sunday 24 July 2016

This notice applies to scallops marketed and exported with roe on or whole with viscera attached.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is issuing this direction in writing under Order 75 of the Export Control (Fish and Fish Products) Orders 2005, directing export registered establishments to comply with the following requirements for scallops.

Background

Biotoxins accumulate in the gonad and viscera of scallops. Scallops that are marketed and exported with roe on or whole with viscera attached must be harvested in accordance with a biotoxin management plan.

The biotoxin management plan (BMP) must be approved by the state shellfish control agency/agencies (SSCA) in the state where the product is harvested and/or landed and has been accepted by the department.

1. Approved biotoxin management plan arrangements

Tasmania has a BMP in place for scallops harvested in the BSCZSF and Tasmanian state waters that has been accepted by the SSCA and by the department.

The existing Victorian scallop dive fishery in Port Phillip Bay is classified in accordance with the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program and is the only scallop fishery in Victorian waters that has a BMP in place that has been accepted by the SSCA and the department.

Where an approved BMP is in place for scallops the BMP will be reviewed as part of department’s annual shellfish verification audit in accordance with an MOU between the SSCA and the department.

If scallops are harvested in an area not covered by an approved BMP then they are not eligible for export without biotoxin testing.

2. Requirements for export registered establishments

Export registered fish establishments who receive scallops to process for export that have been harvested from an area that is not managed under an approved BMP are required to undertake biotoxin testing on each batch (i.e. days production) of scallops that is being exported.

The Tasmanian BMP does not test whole scallop with viscera. Export registered establishments that are exporting whole scallop with viscera attached must undertake biotoxin testing on each batch (i.e. day’s production) of scallops that are being exported.

The biotoxin analysis must be representative of the product being exported e.g. if exporting whole scallops in shell then the whole animal including viscera is to be tested. The analysis report must clearly state the batch that was tested.

Where basic screen methods are used and biotoxins are detected above the level of detection then confirmation results will be required.

Where the Lawrence method is used as a screen test confirmatory testing will be required when PST screen results are >0.4 mg/kg.

Analysis reports will be required to be submitted to the department to gain export certification.

3. Export certification – changes to requirements

The export documentation system (EXDOC) will be set to default to certificate review for all consignments of commercial scallops and doughboy scallops where the generic scallop code is used.

This means that you will not be able to progress your certification to complete status and the department will need to review all certification and other required documentation (declarations and biotoxin test results) before the export certification will be completed.

This will mean that you need to allow adequate time for the department to progress your certification before loading your shipment for export.

4. Declaration requirements for export certification

In addition to or added to the standard manufacturers declaration an exporters declaration as set out in the scenarios below must be made and signed by the occupier of the export registered establishment or someone designated in the establishment’s approved arrangement to make such declarations on behalf of the occupier to gain export certification.

Scenario 1

Where scallops for export are harvested from an area under an approved BMP the following declaration must be made, signed and sent to the department when requesting export certification:

The scallop product listed on RFP <add number> has been prepared from scallops harvested from an area that has been monitored under an approved biotoxin management plan. These scallops were sourced from the following catcher vessels:
<vessel name> <harvest date>;<vessel name> <harvest date>; ….  ”

Analysis results are not required to be submitted to gain export certification as testing is being conducted in accordance with the approved BMP (with the exception of scallop with viscera attached – see section 2 above).

Scenario 2

Where scallops for export are harvested from an area that is not managed under an approved biotoxin management program the following declaration must be made, signed and sent to the department along with a copy of analysis report (see section 2 above) when requesting export certification:

The scallop product listed on RFP <add number> were sourced from the following catcher vessels:
<vessel name> <harvest date>;<vessel name> <harvest date>; ….
This batch for export has been tested and attached is the analysis report <add report number>

Export registered establishment’s will be audited for compliance with this notice. The department will be seeking information from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Scallop Fishermen’s Association of Tasmania to verify exporter declarations.

Failure to comply with this notice will result in sanctions which may include suspension of scallop harvest operations for export or suspension of export registration.

For further enquiries contact: Dairy, Eggs, Fish.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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