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Enquiry: What are the Inspection and Quarantine Requirements for the Import of US Beef to China?

Photo: Import of US beef to China
Photo: Import of US beef to China

As of 20 June 2017 China resumed the import of US beef. More specifically, imports of boned and unboned beef from cattle of less than 30 months of age were approved (including hearts, kidneys, livers, omasum and tendons), while tonsils, the terminal end of the ileum, minced meat and mechanically-separated meat are all specifically excluded.

Overall, all beef of US origin destined for import to China must conform with the following inspection and quarantine requirements:

  • The beef must be sourced from meat production enterprises registered with the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA).
  • The beef must have been subject to a sound records tracking system, allowing the farms where the cattle were born to be identified. It should also be clearly demonstrable that all such cattle were not the progeny of any animals suspected of carrying/diagnosed with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), and were not raised as part of same herd of any cattle diagnosed with the disease (as defined by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)).
  • All such beef must be free of any and all non-natural veterinary medicines, growth promoting agents, feed additives or other compounds prescribed under Chinese law. Endogenous hormones at a level equal to or less than the background norm, however, are not on the prohibited list.
  • All such beef must comply with international health standards with regard to packaging, including the exclusive use of new materials and the provision of individual inner packaging. Said inner packaging must be clearly marked with the name of the product, the country of origin, the registration number of the production facility and a batch number. In the case of the outer packaging, this must be marked with the Chinese name of the product, the relevant product specifications, the production location (detailing city/province/state), the registration number of the production facility, the batch number, its mainland destination, production date (year/month/day), expiry date and advised storage temperature. It must also feature the logo of the official US inspection and quarantine authority. In the case of pre-packaged meat products, these must comply with all of China’s laws with regard to pre-packaged food labelling.

The terms and conditions applicable following the lifting of the ban are detailed in the Announcement of AQSIQ on Inspection and Quarantine Requirements for Beef Imports from the US [AQSIQ Announcement No.47 (2017)], as promulgated by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

For further details, please see US Beef Import Ban Lifted.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research