Date of issue: 26 July 2022
Date of effect: Immediate
Reference Number: MAA2022- 25
Industries—Industry bodies – Dairy Australia – Infant Nutrition Council
Export dairy establishments
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry — Central and Regional offices
To provide updated information on China’s import testing of cold chain product for COVID-19 and the actions resulting from positive detections.
Summary of key points
- On 8 July 2022, the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC) released announcement No.58 in 2022: Further Optimizing and Improving the Epidemic Prevention and Control Measures of Imported Cold Chain Food Ports
- Announcement 58 (2022) officially replaces announcement 103 (2020) which guided China’s COVID-19 border control measures (as outlined in MAA2020-23 (Dairy),
MAA2020-08 (Seafood), MAA2020-11 (NPG)).
- An unofficial translation of announcement 58 (2022) is provided at Attachment 1.
- Implementation of announcement 58 (2022) was immediate upon its publication and is applied where genetic material for SARS-CoV-2 is detected in swabs of product packaging.
- Changes to the response applied by China include:
- removal of the standard one week suspension imposed on establishments
- the requirement for an investigation into the cause of the contamination of the product packaging
- a report identifying the reasons for the contamination and the actions taken to prevent contamination reoccuring produced within a time specified by GACC
Testing for COVID-19 on imported food
Under announcement 58 GACC will maintain COVID-19 control measures in place at the border, including nucleic acid sampling and testing of imported cold chain consignments. The proportion and frequency of testing will be determined by China based on China’s assessment of the effectiveness of Australia’s COVID-19 control measures.
It is unclear how this announcement will impact the level of testing conducted on imports from Australia at this time.
Positive detection of COVID-19 on imported food
The replacement of announcement 103 (2020) by announcement 58 (2022) removes the scaled one or more week suspension imposed on establishments exporting product testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the China port of entry sampling and testing program. Announcement 58 (2022) does not provide specific information about China’s response, but it does identify that a response might include:
- rectification within a designated time frame
- suspension or cancellation of registrations
Availability of the establishment for an audit by GACC may be required as part of any rectification activity.
Imported cold chain foods
Announcement 58 (2022) specifies that imported cold chain foods will continue to be handled by China in accordance with the GACC Technical Guidelines for Prevention and Control of SARS-CoV-2 in Cold-chain Food Production and Operation as outlined in MAA2022-07 (Dairy),
MAA2022-05 (Seafood), MAA2022-01 (NPG). It informs exporters that China will consider information in those documents when assessing the COVID control measures of an establishment from which a positive test result was returned.
Attachment 1 - unofficial translation of announcement No.58 in 2022: Further Optimizing and Improving the Epidemic Prevention and Control Measures of Imported Cold Chain Food Ports
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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.