45-2017 - Update on temporary suspension of uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn products

​​​​28 April 2017

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is of interest to importers of (certain/specific) uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat products and associated industry participants and retailers.

What has changed?

The department previously advised that permit applications for Australian prawns processed overseas will be accepted 4 weeks from the registration of Amendment (Exceptions) Determination (No.3) 2017 on 3 April 2017. This date relies on assurance that competent authorities in re-exporting countries can comply with the new import conditions.

This notice replaces industry advice notice 35-2017, in which the Director of Biosecurity varied the Biosecurity (Suspended Goods – Uncooked Prawns) Determination 2017 to exclude the goods listed below in the Biosecurity (Suspended Goods – Uncooked Prawns) Amendment (Exceptions) Determination (No.3) 2017 (Amendment Determination No.3), under subsection 182 (1) of the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Act).

  • Uncooked Australian wild-caught prawns exported overseas for processing, and re-exported to Australia (other than uncooked Australian wild-caught prawns exported to Thailand for processing in a facility approved by Thailand’s Department of Fisheries, and re-exported to Australia).

Amendment Determination No. 3 was signed on 3 April 2017, and the exemption will come into force on 1 May 2017, 4 weeks from the day that the Amendment Determination No. 3 was registered.

The department continues to consult with trading partners to agree to ways in which they can provide assurance that they can meet the import conditions.

The import conditions require the overseas competent authority in countries re-exporting product to Australia to provide health certification that states:

  • The products are derived from prawns that were wild-caught in an Australian territory and were imported directly into the exporting country from Australia for processing and export.
  • The prawns have had at least the head and shell removed (last shell segment and tail fans permitted).
  • The products have been processed, inspected and graded in a premises approved by and under the control of the Competent Authority, with procedures in place to ensure that, throughout transport, processing and storage, the product was segregated from
    • prawns that were not sourced from Australia
    • products derived from such prawns
    • other sources of contamination (e.g. processing equipment).
  • Product from each single product run (a batch) has been found post-processing to be free of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) and yellow head virus (YHV) based on a sampling and testing method recognised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) for demonstrating absence of disease.
  • The prawn products are fit for human consumption.

In addition, each package must state “for human consumption only - not to be used as bait or feed for aquatic animals”. The prawns will be subject to increased inspections and testing for WSSV and YHV on arrival in Australia.

The department will provide further communication to industry when eligible countries are established and when permit application can be made.

The Amendment Determination No. 3 is a result of the department’s ongoing work to resume the safe trade in uncooked prawns and prawn products as soon as possible.

Further information

Further information on these changes can be accessed on the Federal Register of Legislation.

Contact 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).