02-2016 - Updated model health certificates for imported ornamental (aquarium) finfish – Valid from 1 March 2016

​21 January 2016

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is to inform the ornamental fish import industry that the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has updated model health certificates for imported ornamental (aquarium) finfish.

These model health certificates will be used as the basis for ornamental finfish health certification from 1 March 2016. All health certificates in current use will be recognised and remain valid until this time. The updated certificates are available on the ornamental finfish IRA website.

What has changed?

Due to a recent departmental name change, model health certificates for imported ornamental finfish have been updated to replace references to ‘Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service’ or ‘Department of Agriculture’ with ‘Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’.

Other changes are listed per certificate below:

A. Health certification for marine ornamental finfish exported to Australia

  • The model health certificate has been updated to reflect a departmental name change and re-formatted for consistency (Appendix 1).

B. Health certification for goldfish exported to Australia

  • The model health certificate has been updated to reflect a departmental name change and re-formatted for consistency (Appendix 2).
  • The certification criteria and procedures specific to goldfish have been updated.
    • The requirement for country-of-origin health certificates to be appended to the final health certificate for export to Australia has been removed, following the department’s evaluation of Competent Authorities of major exporting countries that regularly export goldfish to meet Australia’s biosecurity requirements (an audit of China’s competent authority is being conducted as of January 2016). This includes a determination that satisfactory certification arrangements exist between source countries and final exporting countries.
    • The statement about a batch testing regime, which was a short term transitional arrangement during the initial 6 months of the conditions during 1999-2000, has been changed from ‘a minimum testing of three (3) batches within the six (6) months immediately prior to export’ to internationally recognised surveillance criteria, ‘a minimum of twice yearly sampling for two years’.
    • The design prevalence to demonstrate freedom has increased from 2% to 5% to be consistent with OIE’s surveillance criteria for a disease that has a high virulence.
  • Additional health certification criteria and procedures for goldfish exported to Australia (Appendix 3) are available on the ornamental finfish IRA website. All revised criteria have been discussed with and implemented by all goldfish exporting country Competent Authorities.

C. Health certification for gouramis, bettas, paradise fish*, cichlids and poeciliids exported to Australia

* including all approved species of the subfamilies Luciocephalinae and Macropodusinae of the family Osphronemidae (gouramis, paradise fish, bettas), cichlidae and poeciliidae

  • Note that the requirements for demonstrating freedom from megalocytiviruses will come into effect on 1 March 2016. All susceptible species intended for export to Australia after this date will require health certification attesting to virus freedom through source surveillance or negative batch-testing.
  • Since the model health certificate was published on 8 September 2014 through Biosecurity Advice 2014/11 – ‘Quarantine policy for freshwater ornamental finfish from approved countries’, it has been updated to reflect a departmental name change and re-formatted for consistency (Appendix 4).
  • The department has removed a requirement for country-of-origin health certificates to be appended to the final health certificate for export to Australia.
  • As detailed in 'Certification Procedures for ornamental finfish: source surveillance or pre-export batch testing to demonstrate freedom from gourami iridovirus and related viruses’ pdf.gif PDF [831 KB, the department has developed ‘Additional health certification criteria and procedures for gouramis, bettas, paradise fish, cichlids and poeciliids exported to Australia’ (Appendix 5) to guide exporting country Competent Authorities to meet Australia’s biosecurity requirements. The updated procedures have been circulated to all countries exporting ornamental finfish to Australia.

D. Health certification for freshwater* ornamental finfish exported to Australia

* including all approved freshwater species other than goldfish, gouramis, bettas, paradise fish, cichlids and poeciliids

  • The model health certificate has been updated to reflect a departmental name change and re-formatted for consistency (Appendix 6).

Further information

For further information on importing ornamental finfish into Australia please see the Biosecurity Import Conditions (BICON) page of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website or contact the ornamental fish imports team at ACTFISH.

 

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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