Ensuring the qualification of the local meat importer
Certain qualifications are required to be satisfied to become a meat importer – whether they decide to set up a trading subsidiary in China by themselves or by using a third-party trading partner.
Among others, the local meat importer must be a legally established business, which has proper business registration. The exporter is advised to use China’s credibility system to gather basic official information about the prospect importer.
In addition, the local meat import should also have a record-filing receipt for custom registration issued by the customs in charge.
Besides these basic requirements that apply to all other importers, there are some additional requirements for meat importers specifically:
Record-filing of meat product consignee
Local meat importers are required to go through a record-filing procedure with the customs in charge to become a qualified meat product consignee. Once the record-filing is finalized, the local meat importer will be added to a list that is published on the GAC website.
Automatic import license
If a meat product is included in the 2019 Goods Catalogue for Automatic Import License Management, including products under the category of beef, pork, lamb, and chicken – importers should be able to secure an Automatic Import License issued by MOFCOM.
Registration for food import with the GAC
Like is the case with overseas food manufacturers, overseas exporters, or agents – domestic food importers are also required to be qualified and have filed with customs to ensure the traceability of their imported food products.
This can be done through the same pathways, that is, via the Registration Systems of Imported Food and Cosmetic Importers and Exporters or the Internet + customs platform of the GAC.
A list of registered importers can be found on the GAC website.
The License for Quarantine of Import Animals and Plants
For import of meat and meat products, the importer is required to apply for a License for Quarantine of Import Animals and Plants from customs in charge – prior to signing the trade contract or agreement.
One applicant can only apply for one license at a time for the same product variety, the same exporting country or region, and the same processor or exporter. Besides, only importers that have been registered as domestic food importer with the GAC are qualified to apply for the license for quarantine.
Ensuring the quality of the meat or meat product
Eligible meat products exported to China should not contain growth promotants, feed additives, and other chemical compounds prohibited by China’s law and regulation, such as ractopamine. Meat and meat products shipments detected with prohibited substance or compounds at the port of entry will be rejected, returned to the origin port, or destroyed.
Besides, meat products exported to China must also comply with international wildlife protection regulations.
Depending on the specific type of the meat product, exporters should comply with certain national standards, such as National Food Safety Standard Hygienic Specification for Livestock and Poultry Slaughtering and Processing, according to China GB 12694-2016.
Exporters are suggested to confirm whether the specific products planning to export to China need to meet any additional standards.
Exporters generally need to send the product samples to China in advance and get it tested in a Chinese lab. Exporters can also contact relevant departments in customs to handle the testing.