Registering with the GAC is mandatory
After ensuring the proposed exporting country has signed a protocol with China – each establishment in the supply chain, such as the abattoir, the cold stores, and the meat processing plants – must be registered with the GAC to be included in the “List of Meat Products Eligible for Export to China from Countries or Regions that meet the requirements of Assessment and Review Requirements”(the List).
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The GAC implements a dynamic management of this List. In simple terms, the List changes based on real-time information.
This is especially the case under COVID-19 as the List is subject to more frequent updates.
For example, due to the transmission of COVID-19, the GAC put an update in the List on June 23, 2020, notifying that a Brazilian company had voluntarily suspended their beef exports to China for those products that departed Brazil after June 17, 2020. And, on July 18, the GAC released another update to the List stating that the beef exports of this Brazilian company had resumed for products produced on and after July 17, 2020.
Meat importers are suggested to pay close attention to the official updates to avoid potential losses.
The List can be found on the official website of the GAC.
The process to get included on the List is managed on an intergovernmental level as well. To be more specific:
Step 1: The overseas establishment submits a formal application in writing to their authorities in charge.
Step 2: Authorities in charge of the exporting country conduct inspection by themselves or check documents to see if the establishment is eligible.
Step 3: Authorities in charge of the exporting country pass the formal application of the establishments selected by them to the GAC.
Step 4: The GAC evaluates the application and decides whether to inspect the proposed exporting establishment. If an inspection is decided to be necessary, the GAC will inform the authorities in charge of the exporting country.
Step 5: The GAC sends a team to do site inspection in the proposed exporting establishments.
Step 6: The GAC reviews reports produced by the inspection team and decides whether to accept the registration. If no further actions are required to be taken to fix the non-conformities, the GAC will approve the registration and give the applicants a registration number.
In addition, the exporting country shall provide the GAC with the product category, signature veterinary officer, and other information of the (exporting) company registered in China.
Step 7: Enterprises registered in China shall not be allowed to export to China until they are included on the List, which is published on the website of the GAC.
Registration for food exports with the GAC
China customs require that the overseas food manufacturer and the overseas exporter or agent are qualified and have filed the necessary documentation with the customs to ensure the traceability of the imported meat products.
This can be done through the “Registration Systems of Imported Food and Cosmetic Importers and Exporters” or the “Internet + customs platform” of the GAC.
A list of registered food manufacturers, exporters, and agents can be found on the GAC website.