MAA 2020-23: China: Dairy: Testing of imported cold chain food for novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid

Date of issue: 28 September 2020

Date of effect: Immediate

Reference Number: MAA2020-23

Attention:

  • Industries—Industry bodies - Dairy Australia, Dairy Export Industry Consultative Committee
    Export establishments
  • Licensed exporters
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment —Central and Regional offices

Purpose

This Market Access Advice (MAA) provides information on China’s implementation of sanctions on manufacturers of cold chain food (e.g. frozen or chilled dairy products) in the event of a positive detection of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) on imported products or packaging. This was notified through the World Trade Organization on 21 September 2020.

Summary of key points

  • This advice provides further information to MAA 2020-18 which notified exporters of the potential for border testing of dairy product exports to China for SARS-CoV-2.
  • On 11 September 2020, the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) announced the implementation of emergency preventative measures on overseas manufacturers of imported cold chain food (GACC Announcement No 103) (http://www.customs.gov.cn/customs/302249/2480148/3280728/index.html).
  • The announcement provides further clarity on the duration of sanctions applied by GACC to foreign manufacturers where imported products or packaging test positive for SARS-CoV-2. Details as follows: 
    • When imported cold chain foods or their packages from the same manufacturer are tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 for the first or second time, GACC will suspend processing of import declaration from this manufacturer for one week each time. The suspension will be automatically lifted after one week.
    • When imported cold chain foods or their packages from the same manufacturer are tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 for the third time or more, GACC will suspend import declaration from this manufacturer for four weeks each time. The suspension will be automatically lifted after the four weeks.
  • The measures came into effect from 11 September 2020.

The Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) will be updated to reflect this market access advice.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment encourages all exporters to work with their importer to ensure that product meets the current importing country requirements.

Further information

Contact exportstandards@awe.gov.au if you have any queries.

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.

Last reviewed: 3 November 2020
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