100% of imports could be inspected in some cases, a Canadian memo said
By Diego Flammini
China could take additional measures when inspecting imports of Canadian meat products.
Chinese customs officials may open all shipments of Canadian meat and inspect all of their contents, said a Canadian ag ministry notice, Reuters reported.
Non-compliance in pork shipments, African swine fever and anti-smuggling measures are some of the reasons cited in the notice.
“We have … recently been made aware of increased inspection on pork products,” Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement, CBC reported. “We are working with producers and industry to underscore the importance of heightened quality assurance efforts to ensure there are no trade disruptions due to administrative errors.”
In May, China suspended the export licenses of Olymel LP and Drummond Export.
The pork industry isn’t concerned with China’s additional import inspections.
Canada has always adhered to Chinese customs protocols, said Gary Stordy, director of government and corporate affairs with the Canadian Pork Council.
“Frankly, they’re of little concern because we’ve always operated under the expectation that any shipment to China of pork are being regularly inspected,” he told Farms.com. “It’s no different than the conditions we’re already operating under. Those shipping the product need to meet the expectations of where they’re shipping the product to.
“In this case, China is saying they’re having concerns over wrong information accompanying pork shipments. The responsibility is to ensure that the shipments have all of the supporting documents.”
Still, the Canadian Meat Council (CMC) is urging all of its members to use extra caution when preparing goods for China.
“We cannot stress enough that the slightest ‘non-compliance’ could jeopardize our entire meat exports to China, which would have a disastrous effect on all CMC members,” the organization said in a message to members, Reuters reported.
China represents a significant market for the Canadian pork industry.
Pork exports to China totaled more than $3.8 billion in 2018.
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