Date of issue: 11 April 2022
Date of effect: Immediate
Reference Number: MAA2022-05
Industries—Industry bodies – Dairy Australia – Infant Nutrition Council, Seafood Export Consultative Committee, Seafood Industry Australia, Australian Honey Bee Industry Council, Australian Food and Grocery Council
Export dairy and seafood establishments
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment — Central and Regional offices
This Market Access Advice (MAA) is to advise Australian manufacturers and exporters of food products to China of General Administration of Customs of the Peoples Republic of China’s (GACC’s) release of two updated technical guidelines on the management of COVID-19 in cold food chains.
Summary of key points
GACC recently released official English translations of the two guidelines (provided at Attachment 1) and requested that these guidelines be conveyed to manufacturers of cold chain food, including edible agricultural products such as fruits.
- Technical Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of SARS-CoV-2 in Cold Chain Food Production and Operation (Second Edition), and
- Technical Guidelines for Disinfection in Prevention and Control of SARS-CoV-2 in Cold Chain Food Production and Operation (Second Edition).
The guidelines are an update to existing GACC requirements and protocols to manage and respond to COVID-19 within the cold-chain. Information around personal hygiene for staff and disinfection measures for surfaces as well as approved disinfectant products are included. GACC notes the guidelines are prepared considering advice contained in the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) updated ‘Guidelines for Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 within Food Businesses’ issued in August 2021.
The guidelines are written as instruction for domestic use in China. The department understands that whilst GACC have not requested overseas manufacturers comply with the guidelines, they do ask that manufacturers exporting product to China ensure adequate prevention and control of SARS-CoV-2 in their production and operation. Australian manufacturers and exporters of cold chain foods to China should be aware that some of the content of these documents has been included in the scope of some international audits.
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The information provided in this advice is current at the time of writing and is intended for use as guidance only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. The Commonwealth endeavours to keep information current and accurate, however, it may be subject to change without notice. Exporters are encouraged to verify these details with their importers prior to undertaking production/exports. The Commonwealth will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on information contained in this notice.