Imports of Uncooked Prawns and Uncooked Prawn Meats Suspended

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.

These restrictions have been put in place due to an unacceptable level of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) in imported uncooked prawns in retail outlets. This indicates that current biosecurity risk management conditions and compliance with those conditions are not managing the biosecurity risk to a level consistent with Australia’s appropriate level of protection.

There has also been an outbreak on the Logan River with currently five infected properties (owned by four prawn farms). A low level of white spot syndrome virus DNA was found in the Logan River in six wild prawns, however, testing conducted to date indicates that white spot disease has not established in the wild prawn population.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact a Seabridge customs consultant on 1800 727 195.

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