The Philippines’ first shipment of uncooked shrimps to Australia arrived at the Port of Melbourne on 30 May 2022.

The initial 20 fcl shipment of raw peeled and deveined (RPD) Vannamei shrimps was made possible by Fisher Farms, Inc (FFI), with two more shipments expected to arrive in Australia in June and July.

FFI is an industry leader in aquaculture processing and is the largest supplier of farm-raised seafood in the Philippines supplying a wide range of premium, fresh frozen, and value-added seafood products to various clientele in the Philippines and across the world.

The company worked with their agent and importer in Singapore and Australia following the inclusion of the Philippines to the list of countries able to meet Australia’s enhanced import conditions for shrimps classified under prawns and prawn products.

In 2019, the Philippine government, through the Philippine Embassy in Canberra and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Sydney (PTIC-Sydney) worked with the Philippines’ competent authority, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, in certifying that the country can meet Australia’s enhanced import conditions, paving the way for aquaculture companies in the Philippines to access the Australian market.

Prior to 2019, Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) suspended imports of uncooked prawns and prawn products for human consumption and enhanced the import conditions to allow for safe trade in prawn and prawn products to meet Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP).

One of the key provisions in the enhanced biosecurity requirements is a certification that the products have been found to be free of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) and yellow head virus (YHV) based on sampling and testing methods recognised by the World Health Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The competent authority in the exporting country must also certify that the products have been processed, inspected, and graded in premises approved by and under the control of the competent authority.

FFI CEO Imelda Madarang said this development will further strengthen their efforts to access export markets such as Australia and other countries in the Pacific region.

“After pandemic-related delays, our first shipment of shrimp products to Australia has been finally cleared. We are optimistic that this will be the start of a strong cooperation to make our premium, fresh frozen and value-added seafood products become available in the Australian market,” Madarang said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry through its overseas office in Australia, PTIC-Sydney, said the Philippines is committed to accelerate the transformation of the agribusiness sector by actively pursuing untapped export markets as well as exploring bankable investment opportunities in the Philippines for Australian and New Zealand investors. Among the investment opportunities that may be explored include commercial aquaculture production, establishment of nurseries and hatcheries, cold storage warehousing, aquafeed milling, and commercial fish processing.

Date of Release: 08 June 2022