Australia bans uncooked shrimp

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Báo Dân Trí English - 5 month(s) ago 1 readings

Exporters are estimating millions of USD in losses after Australia banned the import of uncooked prawns due to recently discovering a white spot virus outbreak in December.

Exporters are estimating millions of USD in losses after Australia banned the import of uncooked prawns due to recently discovering a white spot virus outbreak in December.

Shrimp exporters to Australia to face difficulties

The virus that causes white spots in prawns in Queensland can stop them from growing. Australian authorities are investigating whether the disease was brought in via imported products. The ban has taken effect since January 9.

All cargoes that attempt to enter Australia on or after January 9 are being destroyed or returned. Cargoes that are temporarily imported to Australia will be carefully tested. The ban will take effect until the risk is reduced to acceptable level.

Two shipments from Ca Mau Province were returned recently. Each month, about 100 to 150 tonnes are exported to Australia and firms are estimating millions of USD in losses as their contracts are terminated and cargoes are returned.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers said Australia was Vietnam's potential market with high demands for shrimp. Vietnam exports about USD100m of cooked and breaded and marinated shrimp to Australia each year. The ban will heavily affect the export of breaded shrimp.

Truong Dinh Hoe, Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers' secretary, said the sudden ban, without giving firms time to change or redirect their shipments, had caused difficulties. This would mean the breaded and marinated shrimps for Australian market could hardly be sold elsewhere.

The association has reported to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other agencies. It hoped that the Australian authorities will still apply the old rules on en route cargo under existing contracts.

On February 6, the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources announced that they would relax the ban. The ban will be lifted for dried prawns, shelf-stable prawn-based food products, irradiated bait for aquatic use, pet fish food, aquaculture feed, and uncooked prawns caught from the exclusive economic zone of Australia.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the risk of white spot virus outbreak is low on these products.

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