69-2018 - Introduced inspection of cooked prawns - Updated

6 July 2018

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is of interest to importers of cooked prawns, brokers, biosecurity industry participants and retailers of cooked prawns.

What has changed?

Introduced inspection of cooked prawns

Note: this notice replaces notice 44-2018. This notice includes additional information about the number of inspectors required, inspection and assessment timeframes.

From 00:00:01 hours (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on 4 June 2018, the department introduced random seals intact inspections for cooked prawn consignments.

These inspections will provide additional assurance that existing import conditions for cooked prawns are being met. Import conditions require that:

  • As a result of the cooking process all protein in the prawn meat is coagulated and no raw prawn meat remains; and
  • All consignments are accompanied by a health certificate issued by the competent authority that confirms the above.

Biosecurity industry participants receiving consignments of cooked prawns for inspection at their class 2.5 approved arrangement site must comply with the class 2.5 requirements for prawn and prawn products.

The seals intact fully supervised inspections will apply to containers of cooked prawns, including mixed containers. When referred for inspection the request for inspection form must be completed and emailed to the department in the location where the cargo is held.

Biosecurity industry participants and importers must ensure that all cooked prawn consignments referred for inspection remain ‘seals intact’ until a biosecurity officer inspector provides approval to break the seals and open the container.

Two Biosecurity Officers will attend each seals intact inspection. The duration of the inspection is a minimum of four hours, however it may be longer depending on the quantity of product to be inspected and the number of batches to be sampled.

Samples of the product will be taken during the inspection and the department will advise on the outcome within five working days. Cooked prawns that are imported and deemed non-compliant must be re-exported, destroyed or cooked at an approved facility.

Biosecurity industry participants and importers must also be aware that cooked prawn consignments remain subject to the imported food inspection and testing regime. The department will undertake biosecurity and imported food inspections at the same time where resourcing permits. Where biosecurity and imported food inspections cannot be undertaken at the same time, importers may be required to make a separate appointment for imported food inspection and testing. This may cause an additional delay in the release of the goods.

Failing to comply with a Biosecurity direction is a breach of the Biosecurity Act 2015. Interference with the goods prior to inspection by a biosecurity officer will result in a direction to export being issued and possible civil or criminal prosecution. Enforcement action may be instigated where non-compliance is identified.

Further information

If you require further information please call 1800 900 090 or email Imports.

Biosecurity import conditions are available on the department’s Biosecurity Import Conditions database (BICON).

For further information on inspections of imported food, please refer to our Food inspections and compliance webpage.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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