Good afternoon FBIA Members,

Please see the latest information regarding activities being undertaken as part of the commencement of trade in prawn imports. From now on, these updates will be provided fortnightly rather than weekly. If information becomes available prior to the next scheduled update, I will ensure it is forwarded in a timely manner so you will be kept up to date.


Consignments imported under the enhanced import conditions:

  • As at 1 September 2017, 11 consignments have been imported under the enhanced import conditions. 10 consignments have tested negative for white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) and yellow head virus (YHV). One consignment is currently held under biosecurity control pending WSSV and YHV test results.


Requirements for moving suspended prawn imports:


Enhanced import conditions for prawns and prawn products for human consumption:

  • Enhanced import conditions were implemented on 7 July 2017 to allow safe trade in prawns and prawn products. These import conditions have been developed to meet Australia’s appropriate level of protection and can be found at:
  • Competent Authorities (CAs) from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Bangladesh, India, Denmark and Brunei Darussalam have provided written confirmation to the department that they can meet Australia’s enhanced import conditions.
  • The commencement of trade relies on CAs in exporting countries certifying a testing regime to provide confidence the exported products will meet Australia’s enhanced import conditions.
  • Each exporting country manages and verifies its own certification system.
  • The department does not require the CA to provide a list of approved laboratories.
  • The department is encouraging CAs to use government laboratories for testing, however, this is not a requirement.
  • The new health certificate requires details of the post processing testing laboratory: name of laboratory; address; and, testing report number.
  • An export company needs to contact the CA to determine which laboratories have the capacity to test and certify that a consignment is free from WSSV and YHV based on sampling and testing methods recognised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
  • The department has written to the CAs in Indonesia, Argentina, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore and the United States of America and continues to work with these and other trading partners to ensure safe trade can resume.
  • Further information can be found the department’s website:


Sampling and laboratory testing program for new imports of uncooked prawns in Australia:

  • The department is overseeing the development of a more standardised testing procedure that will be used consistently by all testing laboratories and independently verified by the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA).


Crumbed, battered and breaded prawn inspections:


Management options for raw imported prawns held at Approved Arrangements:


Direction to manage biosecurity risks:

  • As part of the department’s on-going efforts to withdraw uncooked prawns from the marketplace, it has identified and contacted approximately 130 domestic cold storage facilities. These facilities have been directed to secure any uncooked prawns and to advise the department. Where uncooked prawns are identified, they will be subject to sampling and testing for WSSV.
  • The department continues to work with Biosecurity Industry Participants to manage the potential biosecurity risk of secured uncooked prawns held at Approved Arrangement sites.
  • Further information can be found here:


Have you received an inspection direction?

  • Brokers and importers are encouraged to contact the department to book inspections or to organise exports of consignments. This will assist in reducing delays and assist the department with planning inspection activities.
  • To book, please contact the Client Contact Group on 1800 900 090.
  • If you or your broker have received an inspection direction as a result of the letter from the department placing goods back under biosecurity control, a departmental representative from the Inspections Services Group will be in contact with you in the next week or so to arrange a time for the inspection and sampling of the goods that are on hold. You do not need to call the department to arrange this.


Inspection requirements:


Export procedures:


Enquiries to the department regarding your consignment:

  • In order to process your request for information quickly and efficiently, please ensure your consignment entry number(s) relating to the enquiry is included.


Useful links

Biosecurity (Suspended Goods – Uncooked Prawns) Determination 2017:

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