Ham import brings fines for Importer

The Department of Agriculture have released details on a Western Australian importer that was recently fined $25,000 for himself and his company after breaching Australia’s strict import rules.

The Perth based company along with it’s director received the fines after importing ham from unapproved regions in Italy back in 2011. The company was fined $22,000 with the director receiving a $3,000 infringement.

The fines were issued after offenses from the importing bringing 2241kgs of Parma Ham into Australia in a sea freight shipment.

“After breaching their import permit the company, along with their director, then failed to act on a directive from the department to move the ham to a coldstore facility,” Ms Vivian said.

“Products containing animal or plant material may carry exotic pests or disease which could have devastating impacts on human, animal and plant health.

“That’s why these requirements are critical—for instance if Foot-and-mouth disease were to enter Australia it would cost the economy more than $50 billion over 10 years.”

The Department of Agriculture requested that the ham be sampled and tested for staphylococcus, listeria, E.coli and salmonella prior to being sold.

Despite being directed by the Department, the importer went ahead and sold 220kgs of ham to retailers without the required testing.

The company has been punished for knowingly breaching the strict import and food control requirements.

There is a zero tolerance approach to the blatant disregard to the rules.