The Food and Drug Administration issued April 18 an import alert for shrimp and prawns from peninsular Malaysia, which allows FDA district offices to detain such imports without physical examination (except shipments from certain identified firms). This alert covers all market forms of shrimp and prawns: raw frozen, cooked, breaded, cakes, balls, etc. Malaysia’s states of Sabah and Sarawak are not subject to this import alert.

The FDA is taking this step because testing found that approximately one-third of imports of shrimp and prawns from peninsular Malaysia contained residues of nitrofurans and/or chloramphenicol, which renders them adulterated and not permitted into U.S. commerce. The FDA has requested that the Malaysian government investigate the cause of the residue problem and develop a program of short-term and long-term actions to prevent the export of violative shrimp to the U.S.

To secure release of an individual shipment identified for DWPE under this import alert, the owner or consignee should provide the results of a private laboratory analysis of a representative sample(s) collected from the affected article as evidence that the product does not bear or contain any nitrofurans or chloramphenicol residues. To facilitate and expedite a review of the processor’s request for removal from DWPE under this import alert, the processor should submit information to allow FDA reviewers to adequately assess whether the processor(s) has appropriate controls and processes in place to ensure that future shrimp and/or prawns from the processor will not bear or contain nitrofurans or chloramphenicol residues and will be in compliance with the FFDCA. In addition to reviewing such documentation the FDA may conduct on-site inspections of the processor and/or the processor’s Malaysian supplier(s) (including aquaculture farms and processors preceding the shipper), where applicable, prior to rendering a decision.

To facilitate entry review of shipments from firms not located in peninsular Malaysia, importers should provide documentation (i.e., invoices, bills of lading) declaring the source farm(s).

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