CANBERRA: The Director of Biosecurity has suspended uncooked prawn imports into Australia in response to information from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources that the level of risk associated with uncooked imported prawns (including prawn meat) had become unacceptable.
All new shipments (departing overseas ports on or after 9 January 2017) of suspended imported prawn products that arrive in Australia will be required to be exported or destroyed. Imported prawn products currently in transit to Australia will be subject to a new and enhanced 100 per cent inspection and testing regime. The decision to suspend the trade has not been taken lightly. Australia is a trade-dependent nation with valuable and ongoing two-way trading relationships around the world. The department recognises that this action is likely to have flow-on effects for Australia’s consumers.
However the department has responsibility for safeguarding Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries worth over $60 billion to our economy, which must take priority. The suspension will remain in place until the Australian Government is satisfied that the risk associated with imported prawns is managed to an acceptably low level. The suspension will has taken effect at 12.01 am AEDT Monday 9 January 2017.