The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resource announced that the import suspension on uncooked prawns would lapse on July 6, 2017.
The department on January 7 imposed the suspension of prawn and uncooked shelled shrimp imports from Asian nations, including Viet Nam, fearing an outbreak of the white spot disease in Australia. The ban took effect on January 9 and lasted for six months.
According to the Viet Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnamese businesses will face more difficulties in exporting prawn to Australia as of July 7, when Australia applies enhanced import conditions for human consumption to ensure safe trade of prawns and prawn products, to meet Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP).
In a note released on Friday, the department said these import conditions were issued under the authority of the Biosecurity Act 2015. The imported food, including prawns and prawn products, must comply with the Imported Food Control Act 1992 and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC) in its entirety.
The enhanced import conditions apply to uncooked, peeled prawns (tail fans and last shell segment permitted); uncooked, peeled, wild caught Australian prawns processed overseas (tail fans and last shell segment permitted); and uncooked, peeled, marinated prawns (tail fans and last shell segment permitted).
The importers must obtain a permit to import all the uncooked prawns and prawn products into Australia for human consumption from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, before the goods are imported. “All the imported uncooked prawns must be sourced from a country, zone or compartment that is recognised by Australia to be free of pathogenic agents of biosecurity concern,” said the department.
Trade in uncooked prawns and uncooked prawn meat products will not occur until the department has confirmation from the competent authorities in exporting countries that they can meet Australia’s import conditions.
The department said it was working closely with trading partners to ensure trade can be resumed as quickly as possible. The department will provide further updates after trading partners provide confirmation they can meet the enhanced import conditions.
The department will contact importers of the products affected by the suspension individually to provide advice about their import permits over the coming days. Where import permits are not able to continue following the end of the suspension, the department will reissue new import permits when trading partners advise they can comply with the new import conditions.
Also, all the products that have received a notice of direction and are subject to the initial suspension, must test negative for White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) at Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), before it can be released in the market. This accounts for the fact that it was not subject to the risk management measures required for future shipment.?
“Prawns that test positive for WSSV at AAHL must be either exported, disposed of, or cooked. If product tests negative for WSSV at AAHL, the department will release it from biosecurity control,” said the department.
Viet Nam last year exported US$114.6 million worth of shrimp products to Australia, of which processed shrimps made up 78 per cent of the total. In the last five years, the country has been the biggest shrimp product supplier to Australia, and the demand for prawn products in the country is expected to rise.Source: Aquaculture