New rules for meat exports to China

Following another hold up with New Zealand meat exports to China, Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) officials have been working around the clock to resolve the issue.

New rules for meat exports to China will be implemented on Monday next week, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye said today.

“On Thursday we were made aware that China had issued new rules for New Zealand meat certification,” Ministers say.

“In the last 48 hours we have sought clarity around the impacts of those requirements and officials have negotiated their implementation.”

“I am currently in China and we have a warm and professional relationship which has enabled us to quickly resolve this,” Guy says.

“We have a very successful trading relationship underpinned by the free trade agreement. No other country is ahead of us in terms of meat access into China.”

“The new rules mean that veterinarians must be directly linked to the last site the meat was at before export,” says Kaye.

The new requirements became clear when industry advised MPI that one shipment of meat was being delayed at the northern China port of Dalian.

Since then New Zealand government officials both in New Zealand and China have been working to clarify the new requirements and negotiate rules to enable a smooth transition.

After a positive meeting last night in China, a new process of certification that addresses consignments en-route to China and new overseas market access requirements (OMAR) has been agreed..

“I am working with officials over the weekend to make sure quick and effective implementation of the documentation for the current consignments. We have worked on a pragmatic solution to enable current consignments to be cleared and trade to continue,” Nikki Kaye says.

Chinese meat officials will be in New Zealand next week to progress the comprehensive new meat access arrangements for the future.

The Government has been speaking to the meat industry and from Monday there will be new processes in place that meet the new Chinese requirements.

MPI advises

  • The new rules affect shipments of meat from New Zealand to China from 1 June 2013. Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) data indicates this represents 1,323 consignments, or an estimated 30,000 tonnes.
  • Letters of assurance and scanned copies of certificates will be sent by MPI to officials in China. It will take MPI officials about four days to do this and it is anticipated it will then take a further three to four days for the documentation to be distributed by Chinese officials to ports in China.
  • MPI has stepped up resources and will be able to process the new documentation for the 1,323 consignments by close of play Wednesday (10 July 2013).  It will then take at least a couple of days for China to distribute that information to ports. It is important to note the practical effect of this will be minimal, says MPI. “As a result of all of this work, we expect up to one-quarter of the total number of 1,323 consignments to be practically affected and any delay may only be a couple of days.”
  • The new requirements will come into force on Monday 8 July 2013. The new rules mean that veterinarians must be directly linked to the last site the meat was at before export.

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