Seafood Importers Association of Australasia Inc
22 million people > 35 million by 2050
per capita seafood consumption currently less than 20kg
Small Local Production
fisheries 175,000 mt* *unprocessed weight
aquaculture = 70,000 mt*
less exports 45,000 mt*
Seafood Imports Major Portion
over 200,000 mt** value = AUD$1 billion **mostly processed weight
estimate 75% of seafood consumed is now imported
AUSTRALIA Where We Import From
What’s the history of Australia’s imported seafood food
Seafood is the most tested food commodity we import.
It is arguably the most compliant food commodity we import.
Consistently 97% - 98% compliant. 50% of non-compliancy is labeling.
We have a hold & test category, and a release & test category.
Failures are public information published monthly on AQIS website.
Consistent with clinical data on public health.
Non-tariff trade barriers:
AUD$60 million drop in shrimp imports between 2007 and 2008 due to
new quarantine restrictions.
Integrity of IRA process questioned.
Producer resistance to growth in popularity of Basa (Pangasius) and
Barramundi (Lates calcarifer) fillets from Vietnam.
Negative publicity designed to erode consumer confidence leads to unnecessary
reviews of food safety systems. Confidence in all seafood subsequently affected.
Specific Quarantine Restrictions
Uncooked whole shrimp are prohibited.
Uncooked cutlets (tail-on) and peeled meat will be held for testing in Australia for
WSSV and YHD. A positive test will result in no entry.
Every batch (one pond or one day’s production) is tested separately.
Highly processed shrimp products (marinated, breaded, dim sum, etc) can avoid
disease testing if imported under permit. Stringent conditions apply.
The only exceptions are for countries free of these diseases or where
‘compartmentalization’ is approved.
Cooked shrimp must have a declaration by a competent authority that they have
been cooked in approved premises to specific time/temperature requirements.
The biggest and rapidly emerging, over-arching issue is that Australia’s:
financial and human resources
are not keeping pace with the growth in the volume and diversity of
More of the system needs to happen offshore.
Greater role by competent authorities in supplier nations
Greater degree of co-regulation with importers
Registration and training of importers (SIAA Code of Practice)
Role of 3rd party food safety certification in border controls
Role of product standards (eg. Australian Standard)
Working through the plethora of eco-labels and what they mean to business
clients and consumers. What is their role in future border control?
Assessing / creating certifications to suit situations (eg. eliminating labor abuse).
The law in Australia is - 100% net weight as described on the label
National legislation incorporating a court enforceable thaw/weigh method
Over-use of water retention additives (eg. phosphates)
Not just about fraud – also loss of product quality. Technical difficulties
Progress: Since 2010 national legislation and a National Measurement Institute
Barriers: No border enforcement; inconsistent post-border enforcement
Not keeping pace with changes in supply
Implications for food safety and quarantine
Makes a nonsense of statistics