On 10 January 2017, Australia notified that the importation of uncooked prawns (including prawn meat) had been suspended under the Biosecurity (Suspended Goods - Uncooked Prawns) Determination 2017 (the suspension) for a period of six months. This was due to an unacceptable level of biosecurity risk posed by white spot syndrome virus (WSSV).
The import suspension will lapse on 6 July 2017. Enhanced import conditions will be put in place from 7 July to allow for safe trade in prawns and prawn products. from 7 July 2017, previous classes of prawn products, namely uncooked prawns, marinated prawns, and Australian prawns processed overseas in a non-Australian government audited supply chain, will be consolidated into one product class. Prawns within this class must be uncooked, frozen and have had the head and shell removed (the last shell segment and tail fans permitted). These prawns will all be subject to the following import conditions:
Exporting countries will be required to certify that the prawns have been found to be free of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) and yellow head virus (YHV) based on sampling and testing methods recognised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Pre-export sampling and testing is to be conducted post-processing. The prawns will also be subject to 100 per cent secure seals intact inspection on-arrival in Australia and testing for WSSV and YHV at an Australian screening laboratory. Only those prawns which pass testing for both WSSV and YHV at an approved screening laboratory will be released from biosecurity control. Australian prawns processed overseas through an Australian Government approved supply chain (as exists for Thailand) will not be subject to pre-export testing. However, this product will continue to be tested on-arrival for WSSV and YHV.
Breaded, battered and crumbed prawns will not be subject to pre-export or on-arrival testing. However, this product will continue to be subject to 100 per cent secure seals intact inspection on-arrival to ensure minimum coating requirements are met.
Import conditions will remain in place pending the outcomes of the review of the biosecurity risks of, and import conditions for, prawns and prawn products, which was announced by the department on 16 May 2017 (G/SPS/N/AUS/422). If during this time the biosecurity risks for these products change, the department may amend the import conditions to ensure that biosecurity risk meets Australia's appropriate level of protection.
Trading partners that can meet these import conditions and wish to export uncooked prawns to Australia are requested to contact the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to seek approval of export health certification prior to the commencement of trade. A revised model health certificate, including all required health attestations, is at