Prawn products requirements table

Summary of enhanced import conditions for prawns and prawn products for human consumption.

Importers are responsible for ensuring that the conditions on the import permit are complied with before importing goods into Australia. Please refer to Australia’s Biosecurity Import Conditions database (BICON) and our uncooked prawns webpage for more details on import conditions.

Trade will not commence until the exporting country government confirms that it can certify that the prawns have tested free from WSSV and YHV. Refer to uncooked prawns webpage and Import Industry Advice Notices for countries that have provided this confirmation.

Summary of changes to import conditions for prawns and prawn products for human consumption
Prawn productRequirements prior to 9 January 2017Current import conditions
Uncooked, unprocessed (non-Australian origin)
  • All consignments were accompanied by a health certificate issued by an overseas government including certification that the prawns were free of visible signs of disease.
  • Prawns were frozen, with head and shell removed.
  • All batches in every consignment (except from New Caledonia) were inspected and tested on arrival in Australia for White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) and Yellow Head Virus (YHV).
  • Uncooked prawns, marinated prawns and Australian prawns processed overseas (excluding those processed in an Australian government approved supply chain) are consolidated into one product class – uncooked prawns.
  • All consignments accompanied by a new health certificate issued by an overseas government  including that the prawns are free of visible signs of disease.
  • All batches in every consignment must test negative for WSSV and YHV, prior to export, using testing methods recognised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
  • Prawns are frozen, with head and shell removed (the last shell segment and tail fans permitted).
  • 100% of consignments subject to secure seals intact inspection.
  • All batches in every consignment tested at an approved screening laboratory on arrival in Australia for WSSV and YHV.
    Uncooked marinated
    • All consignments were accompanied by health certificates issued by an overseas government including certification that the prawns were free of visible signs of disease.
    • 25% of marinated consignments inspected on arrival in Australia to verify that products were genuinely highly processed and free of visible signs of disease.
    • Prawns were frozen, with head and shell removed.
    Uncooked Australian prawns exported overseas for processing and re-imported to Australia (excluding prawns processed in an Australian Government approved facility in Thailand)
    • Prawns were managed as per uncooked, unprocessed non-Australian origin prawns (see above).
    Uncooked Australian-origin prawns exported to Thailand and processed in an approved facility (Thai Union)
    • All consignments accompanied by a health certificate issued by an overseas government certifying prawns were processed in an approved facility in accordance with the biosecurity integrity program agreed with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department).
    • All consignments accompanied by health certification issued by the Thai government certifying prawns were processed in approved facility in accordance with the biosecurity integrity program agreed with the department and are free of visible signs of disease.
    • 100% of consignments subject to secure seals intact inspection on arrival in Australia.
    • All batches in every consignment tested on arrival in Australia for WSSV and YHV.
    Uncooked breaded, battered and crumbed (BBC) prawns that have undergone an acceptable par-cooking step
    • All consignments accompanied by a health certificate issued by an overseas government including certification that the prawns were free of visible signs of disease.
    • Prawns were frozen, with head and shell removed.
    • 25% of consignments inspected on arrival in Australia to verify that products were genuinely highly processed.
    • All consignments accompanied by a health certificate issued by an overseas government that the prawns are free of visible signs of disease, and have undergone a par-cooking step after the prawns have been coated to solidify and adhere the coating to the prawn.
    • Prawns are frozen, with head and shell removed.
    • BBC prawns have undergone a par-cooking step assessed by the department during the import permit application process.
    • 100% of consignments inspected seals intact on arrival in Australia to verify that existing import conditions for BBC prawns are being met.
    Highly processed product (e.g. dim sum, dumplings, spring rolls, samosa type or similar products)
    • All consignments accompanied by a health certificate issued by an overseas government that the prawns were free of visible signs of disease.
    • Prawns were frozen, with head and shell removed.
    • 25% of consignments inspected, but not tested, on arrival in Australia to verify that products were genuinely highly processed.
    • All consignments accompanied by a health certificate issued by an overseas government that the prawns are free of visible signs of disease.
    • Prawns were frozen, with head and shell removed.
    • 25% of consignments subject to inspection (mixed consignments require seals intact inspection) on arrival in Australia to verify that products are genuinely highly processed.
    Cooked prawn and prawn products
    • All consignments accompanied by a health certificate issued by an overseas government that prawns have been cooked in premises in the exporting country that are approved by and under the control of the competent authority, and as a result of the cooking process all protein in the prawn meat have coagulated and no raw prawn meat remains.
    • All consignments accompanied by a health certificate issued by an overseas government that prawns have been cooked and as a result of the cooking process all protein in the prawn meat have coagulated and no raw prawn meat remains.
    • Randomly selected seals intact fully supervised inspections on arrival in Australia to verify that existing import conditions for cooked prawns are being met.
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    Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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