02-2017 – Suspension of uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat imports

​7 January 2017

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is of interest to importers of uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat and associated industry participants and retailers.

What has changed?

The Director of Biosecurity has suspended imports of the following class of goods for a period of six months effective from 00:00:01 hours (Australian eastern daylight savings time) on 9 January 2017:

  • uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat; and
  • uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat that have been marinated for human consumption.

The following class of goods are exempt from the suspension:

  • uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat sourced from New Caledonia;
  • uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat processed into dumplings, spring rolls, samosas, other dim sum-type products and other similar products;
  • uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat which have been coated for human consumption by being breaded, crumbed or battered.

Goods that are within the suspended class of goods that have been shipped but have not arrived in Australia, or have arrived but not been released from biosecurity control, will be permitted entry where the documented final/master Bill of Lading date at the port of origin is on or before 8 January 2017. These goods will be subject to a new and enhanced inspection regime, which will include a secure-seals intact direction, 100% inspection of the consignment and sampling inspection and testing of all consignments. Importers may choose to export the goods if they do not wish to have them inspected. 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.

Goods within the suspended class of goods with a documented final/master Bill of Lading date at the port of origin of 9 January 2017 or later are suspended and if imported to Australia will be required to be exported or destroyed at the importers expense.

Import permits relating to the suspended class of goods will be suspended as of 9 January 2017.  Import permit applications relating to the suspended class of goods lodged on or after 9 January 2017 will not be processed until further notice.

Information about the suspension, including questions and answers, is available on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

Action relating to uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat already in Australia

White spot disease is a highly contagious viral infection that affects crustaceans. White spot disease does not pose a human health risk.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is conducting on-going inspections and testing of imported uncooked prawns or uncooked prawn meat that is already in Australia. Where this testing is positive for white spot disease, action will be taken to have the product removed from sale and destroyed.

Contact information

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

Import biosecurity conditions are available in the department’s Biosecurity Import Conditions database (BICON).