June 22, 2020
Global food exporters to China told to declare their products free from COVID-19
Three sources told Reuters that China's General Administration of Customs had informed them to sign a declaration confirming their produce entering China is free from COVID-19, Reuters reported.
The declaration is possibly part of China's measures to decrease the additional COVID-19 tests it had implemented on imported foods after a new COVID-19 outbreak was discovered at Beijing's Xinfadi wholesale market, one importer told Reuters.
Another importer said the declaration shifts responsibility to exporters for safeguarding their product's food safety.
An official from Inaporc, the French pork industry said they did receive the declaration notice from China's custom's authority.
China's General Administration of Customs has not replied immediately to a Reuters' inquiry for comment.
In the declaration, exporters must affirm they will abide by China's laws, as well as UN Food and Agriculture Origanisation and World Health Organisation issued guidance, so all imported food destined for China is not contaminated with COVID-19 causing viruses.
In addition, exporters must agree to undertake all possible measures to destroy food safety risks and safeguard consumer health in the event there is a new or suspected COVID-19 case in a food enterprise or there is a contamination risk in foods exported to China.
China's customs authority said between June 11 to 17, more than 30,000 samples of imported meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables have been tested for COVID-19 at Tianjin, Beijing's primary port.
Another meat supplier told Reuters that if COVID-19 was detected in shipments, it would be eliminated even if the declaration was not signed.