Australia suspends Vietnam shrimp import ban

Australian government authorities have lifted the ban on uncooked Vietnam shrimp product import, allowing wild shrimp caught in Australia to be processed in Vietnam, before re-entering the Australian market.

The decision was made after the Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources received written confirmation by the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD) under Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development that “it can meet conditions included in the updated health certificate.”

The department announced “it will be accepting permit applications for uncooked Australian wild caught shrimp exported to Vietnam for processing and re-imported into Australia from 15 June 2017.” The department also said its “biosecurity import condition database system has been updated to reflect the new requirements” from the Australian Agriculture Department.

Import permit applications for Australian wild shrimp processed in countries other than Vietnam“will be accepted once the competent authorities in these countries provide assurance that they meet Australia’s new import conditions,” stated the Agriculture Department.

This determination has helped lift the temporary ban made by Australia in January on shrimp exports from Asian countries, including Vietnam, on worries about the white spot outbreak in the country.

In February, the department loosened the ban on dried shrimp, shelf-stable prawn-based food products and other products caught from the exclusive economic zone of Australia as the risk of white spot virus outbreak was low on these products.

In May, Vietnam’s ministries of Industry and Trade and Agriculture and Rural Development urged Australian agencies to consider lifting the ban on Vietnamese shrimp imports, reporting the damage to Vietnam’s shrimp exports to Australia. 

According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia, this is the seventh largest shrimp market for Vietnam, accounting for 3.6 per cent of Vietnam’s total shrimp exports.

In 2016, Vietnam exported USD 114.6 million worth of shrimp products to Australia, of which processed shrimp made up 78 per cent of the total. In the last five years, Vietnam has been the biggest shrimp product supplier to Australia and demand for prawn products in the country is forecast to rise.


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