Bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products
Proposed changes to food safety import requirements for bivalve molluscs - December 2018.
In 2017, Australia released a consultation paper, Proposals for changes to the inspection and analysis of imported food - May 2017. The changes were also notified internationally via a WTO/SPS notification (G/SPS/N/AUS/424). One of the proposed changes was to restrict the importation of bivalves and bivalve mollusc products, unless covered by a foreign government certificate.
In response to the comments received on the May 2017 consultation paper, this second consultation paper provides more detail on the scope of products required to have government certification, the certification requirements, hazards required to be managed and details of border verification testing.
Australia has prepared science-based risk statements on the hazards associated with bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products and these are published on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.The risk advice emphasises the importance of these hazards being mitigated by harvesting bivalve molluscs from approved areas and ensuring producers follow a verified sanitation program. Certification will enable Australia to have assurance that through-chain production controls are in place to manage the hazards associated with the growing, harvesting and production of bivalve molluscs and bivalve mollusc products. This will align the regulation of imported bivalves with domestic bivalve mollusc requirements in Australia. Subject to consideration of issues raised on the proposed changes, it would be expected that these changes would take effect from mid 2020.