December 24, 2022


China lifts COVID-19 testing process for imported seafood


Most Chinese local governments and ports have removed strict COVID-19 import procedures, which includes testing, sterilisation and quarantine for imported food including seafood, as goods are moved through normal import channels, Fish Information & Services reported.


Officials in Hubei province immediately ceased testing nucleic acids for "cold chain foods," as well as at slaughterhouses, processing, storage, and transportation facilities. The Hubei government said that the decision to relax COVID-19 import restrictions was made in response to a directive from the central government.


The local food import control task force in Changzhou province announced that "centrally regulated cold storage" would be closed immediately. Meanwhile, at Shanghai's port, certain imported meat and seafood products must continue to be tested for the virus. The port will suspend 50% inspection on arrival and 100% inspection on Canadian imports of other seafood and meat.


For Chinese seafood importers, the new changes in import policy are welcomed because they will result in significantly lower import costs. Previously, testing for each container could cost more than CNY 10,000 yuan (~US$1,430; CNY 1 = US$01.4) and was the responsibility of Chinese importers.


Due to numerous uncertainties regarding orders being refused during this time, the easing of epidemic prevention and control policies will also reduce the amount of time customers must wait for customs clearance.


Cui He, president of the China Seafood Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA), said the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and anticipated consumption will result in higher domestic consumption.


Analysts said that the seafood sector in China will face many challenges in the coming year, as COVID-19 infection rates in the country are expected to rise in the next three months.


-      Fish Information & Services

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