Australia - Export requirements for fish and seafood


Requirements will be consistent with the 1993 Memorandum of Understanding between Canada and Australia. The text of the memorandum is available from the Government of Canada Web Archive, which is maintained by Library and Archives Canada.

Eligible/ineligible product


  • Cooked shrimp/prawns
  • Fish products
  • Fresh, chilled or frozen salmonid products
    • thermally treated products
    • consumer ready products
    • products exported not in a consumer ready form


  • Bivalve molluscan shellfish and raw products derived therefrom are not covered under the 1993 Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Salmonid species in the following genera are approved for export to Australia:

    • Brachymystax spp
    • Coregonus spp
    • Hucho spp
    • Oncorhynchus spp
    • Parahucho spp
    • Prosopium spp
    • Salmo spp
    • Salvelinus spp
    • Salvethymus spp
    • Stenodus spp
    • Thymallus spp
    • Plecoglossus spp

Pre-export approvals by competent authority of importing country

Import permit

  • A valid import permit issued by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR), under the Biosecurity Act 2015, must accompany Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) documentation for consignments.
  • Fish and seafood products and/or the ingredients being used to manufacture it must meet the animal health and the public health requirements as specified on the import permit.
  • For more information on import permits issued by DAWR, please use the Biosecurity Import Conditions (BICON) database.
  • For salmonid product being exported in a form that requires further processing in Australia importers must nominate an approved arrangement establishment when they apply for an import permit from DAWR. See Salmonids for more detail.

Product specifications

Maximum levels for chemical contaminants

Maximum levels for therapeutants and antibiotics

Microbiological requirements

Production controls and inspection requirements

  • Products may be exported if accompanied by Canadian certification; however, mandatory inspection may still be conducted in Australia.


  • The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) (former Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service - AQIS) has issued Biosecurity Advice 2018-26 - Biosecurity requirements for post-entry processing of salmonid products sourced from approved countries (excluding New Zealand). Biosecurity Advice 2018 (BA 2018-26) outlines quarantine policies for fresh and frozen salmonids and heat treated salmonid products.
  • Only product derived from salmonid species listed in Appendix 1 of BA 2018-26 may be exported to Australia (see Eligible products).
  • An exporting country must first be approved by DAWR; the Canadian system is approved.
  • For heat treated uncanned salmon, trout, or salmon roe (caviar), a CFIA inspector must verify the heat treatment every 6 months. Heat treated product process requirements are as follows:
    • for salmonid roe, the product was thoroughly washed to remove any extraneous material and heated at a minimum core temperature of 65°C for a minimum period of 30 minutes
    • for skin-on/skinless fillets of any weight, the product was heated to a minimum core temperature of 65°C for a minimum period of 30 minutes
    • for eviscerated, head-on rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss), the product has been treated at a minimum core temperature of 66°C for a minimum period of 40 minutes
  • The importer in Australia must obtain an import permit from DAWR and will be granted permission to import based on the conditions specified on the permit. Different conditions for the importer may be specified on the permit based on whether the salmonid product (not heat treated) is in consumer ready form or exported for further processing.
  • Canadian processors must meet the following requirements (in addition to the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations) for salmonid product (not heat treated) to be certified by a CFIA inspector:
    • product must be in, at least, a head off, gill out and gutted form
    • fish must be thoroughly washed (internally and externally), inspected and graded under the establishment's Preventive control plan (PCP)
    • product must be free from visible lesions associated with infectious disease and fit for human consumption
    • fish must not be juvenile salmonids or sexually mature adults/spawners
    • fish were not derived from a population slaughtered as an official disease control measure
    • product was harvested from an area where a fish health surveillance program is administered by either the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) or in a province where health protection is administered by a government-authorized agency
    • for Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout, the fish did not come from a farm infected by or officially suspected of being infected by the infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) or waters within 10 km or one tidal interchange (whichever is greater) of an infected farm or zone
  • Products that have not been heat treated require an inspection by a CFIA veterinary inspector of the animals prior to processing and freezing. Exporters are advised that in order to be eligible for certification to Australia they must contact their at CFIA Animal Health Office least 5 business days in advance of harvesting to determine the requirements and accommodate the scheduling of an inspection by a CFIA inspector which must occur prior to processing and freezing. For further information see Certification requirements for Australia.

Consumer ready form

  • Australia's definition of consumer ready form salmonid product includes:
    • cutlets, including the central bone and external skin but excluding fins, each cutlet weighing no more than 450 grams
    • skinless fillets, excluding the belly flap and all bone except the pin bones, of any weight
    • skin-on fillets, excluding the belly flap and all bone except the pin bones, each fillet weighing no more than 450 grams
    • eviscerated, headless ‘pan-size' fish, each fish weighing no more than 450 grams
    • product that is processed further than described above
  • Salmonid products that meet the Australian definition of a consumer ready form and are clearly labeled in accordance with this definition will not be subject to the additional biosecurity conditions for product exported for further processing.

Product for further processing

  • Starting July 1, 2019, salmonid product exported for further processing in Australia must remain under biosecurity control at an establishment that has entered into an approved arrangement with DAWR. The salmonid product will be directed to these premises on arrival.
  • Salmonid products subject to this requirement will only be released from biosecurity control after it has been transformed into a consumer ready form.

Labelling, marking and packaging requirements

  • Labels must be printed in English and contain information regarding content, weight, additives, manufacture, trademarks and country of origin.
  • Exporters of salmonid products that are in a consumer ready form are advised to work with their importer in advance of export and ensure that their consignments are appropriately labeled to meet the Australian requirements.
  • For uncanned salmon, trout, salmon roe (caviar) for personal consumption, airport packs/consumer packs must have a label affixed to the product giving the name and address of the processor with the following statement: "This product has been heat-treated as per the Australian Quarantine Requirements".
  • Shipping containers must be sealed in a tamper evident manner.
  • The transport container must be sealed with an official seal.

Documentation requirements


  • Certificate of Origin and Hygiene (CFIA/ACIA 5003)
    • For cooked shrimps/prawns the following statements must be added to CFIA/ACIA 5003:
      1. "The prawns have been cooked in premises in the exporting country that are approved by and under the control of the Competent Authority of the exporting country"
      2. "As a result of the cooking process all the protein in the prawn meat has coagulated and no raw prawn meat remains"
    • For fish products CFIA/ACIA 5003 is required by the Australian authorities under the Memorandum of Understanding signed June 28, 1993 concerning the inspection and certification of fish and fishery products traded between Australia and Canada.


      Bivalve molluscan shellfish and raw products derived therefrom are not covered under the Memorandum of Understanding.

  • For heat treated uncanned salmon, trout, salmon roe (caviar) all commercial shipments must be accompanied by:
    1. CFIA/ACIA 5003, or an original CFIA declaration letter. Either document must have the following verification statement:
      "Copies of the process description submitted by space of space, have been reviewed by, and are on file with, the Department. An Inspection Officer of the Department has examined the process on space (DD/MM/YYYY) and verified that it was carried out as stated in the manufacturer's original declaration"
    2. valid copy of the Australian "Permit to Import"
    3. original declaration by manufacturer with the following statement:
      "The salmon/trout has been heated from a thawed state to at least space°C for at least space hours/minutes"


      Times and temperatures must be in ink.

  • Aquatic Animal Health and Sanitary Certificate for the Export of Fresh, Chilled or Frozen Salmonid Products for Human Consumption from Canada to Australia (AQAH-1063)
    • Only applies to the export of fresh, chilled and frozen salmonid products (not including heat treated products) for human consumption.

Other information

Further information on import requirements can be obtained from Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR), and the Australian government's Biosecurity Import Conditions (BICON) database.

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR)
18 Marcus Clarke St, GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601

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