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Exporting Meat Products to China During COVID-19: What You Need to KnowⅠ丨FOOD2CHINA KNOWHOW
Post Time:2020-11-09Author:FOOD2CHINA-CARMEN

u=2376491867,569608070&fm=26&gp=0.jpgTraders exporting meat products to China need to double down on ensuring the high quality of their meat products and their record proving COVID-19 prevention compliance, as general guidelines and regulatory measures will be strictly applied for the foreseeable future.

China is the world’s top meat importer as high-quality imported meat products are favored by domestic consumers. China imported US$15.3 billion worth of meat and meat products in the first six months in 2020, showing an increase of 103.2 percent, compared to the same period in 2019.

Yet, due to the extraordinary health and safety challenges emerging out of the COVID pandemic, meat processing firms around the world have reported disruptions in their operations and local media have written about the fears of higher risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus. Meat processing companies in different countries have thus suspended their exports to China – either voluntarily or as required by the Chinese government.

Under such circumstances, many meat exporters frequently find themselves in a dilemma – they do not want to miss the business opportunities in a promising market, but are deterred by China’s stringent import controls. The assumption is that China’s import regulations are much more stricter under the pandemic, though exporters might not be familiar with what the rules actually stipulate.

In this article, we offer some general guidance by providing the basic requirements for exporting meat products to China as well as the special requirements introduced in response to COVID-19.

Ensure there is a valid protocol in place between the home country and China

In accordance with Chinese laws and international practices, the proposed exporting country may export meat products to China only after they reach a protocol regarding such exports. So before planning for anything, the meat exporter needs to double check if such a protocol exists between their home country and China.


A list of the countries that maintain such protocols with China can be found on the official website of the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

In the wake of COVID-19, China’s government may have additional requirements for meat companies, which are also managed at the governmental level through protocols. Meat exporters should keep an eye on these developments. For example, it has been reported that China and Canada have protocols that require any meat plant reporting a positive COVID-19 case to suspend their exports to China.

The general procedures to set up a meat export protocol are as follows:

Step 1: The proposed exporting country applies in writing to the GAC for the export of meat products to China, through diplomatic channels.

The GAC will decide whether to start the Examination Procedures for Assessment of Import Meat Products based on the animal quarantine condition in the proposed exporting country.

If the assessment procedures are triggered, a risk assessment questionnaire for the related meat products will be submitted to the proposed exporting country.

Step 2: The proposed exporting country should respond to the questionnaire and provide relevant technical information, including the law and regulation system of veterinary and public health, organization structure, system of veterinary services, quality control system, production methods of the products, health safety control system, residue control system, animal disease examination, and monitoring situation, etc.

Step 3: China conducts risk assessment on the answers and relevant materials provided by the proposed exporting country. If the assessment finds that the safety and hygiene of meat products in the exporting country is within an acceptable range, China will send a team of experts to the proposed exporting country for site visit.

Step 4: After consultation on the inspection and quarantine requirements for meat products exported to China, the two sides reach an agreement and sign a protocol, and confirm the content and format of the health certificate.

The protocol will also specify the specific meat products category that can be exported to China

To be continued...


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