Hong Kong-Food and Agricultural Import Regulations

An Expert's View about Law and Compliance in Hong Kong SAR

Posted on: 11 Jan 2013

This report lists the certificates required by the Hong Kong government (HKG) for U.S. exports to Hong Kong. Certificate samples for various product categories are included in the appendix.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 12/3/2012 GAIN Report Number: HK1234 Hong Kong Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards - Certification FAIRS Export Certificate Report Approved By: Erich Kuss Prepared By: Caroline Yuen Report Highlights: No changes since the last report. This report lists the certificates required by the Hong Kong government (HKG) for U.S. exports to Hong Kong. Certificate samples for various product categories are included in the appendix. In 2011, APHIS reached bilateral agreement with Hong Kong on U.S. horse exports. Also, the Hong Kong Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) informed the ATO office that the U.S. has not exported bison meat and ostrich meat to Hong Kong in over five years, import requirements will be reviewed for any shipments in the future in the context of the animal disease situation and U.S. surveillance program. The HKG is in the process of making egg certification requirements mandatory, initially planning to introduce the regulation for Legislative Council vetting in early 2012 and provide a six-month grace period after the enactment of the new regulation. However, the HKG still has not announced any specific timeframe of introducing the regulation. This report was prepared by the Agricultural Trade Office of the Foreign Agricultural Service in Hong Kong for U.S. exporters of domestic food and agricultural products. While every possible care was taken in the preparation of this report, information provided may not be completely accurate either because policies have changed since its preparation, or because clear and consistent information about these policies was not available. It is highly recommended that U.S. exporters verify the full set of certificate requirements with their foreign customers, who are normally best equipped to research such matters with local authorities, before any goods are shipped. FINAL IMPORT APPROVAL OF ANY PRODUCT IS SUBJECT TO THE IMPORTING COUNTRY’S RULES AND REGULATIONS. (For a general guideline on agricultural and food import regulations, please refer to GAIN Report #HK1233 FAIRS released in December 2012) Section I. List of All Export Certificates Required By Government (Matrix) : Note: APHIS - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service FSIS - Food Safety and Inspection Service FEHD - Food and Environmental Hygiene Department CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora AFCD - Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department AMS - Agricultural Marketing Service Samples Certificates See Appendix Products U.S. Issuing Attestation Purpose Requesting Authority Required on Ministry Certificate Poultry FSIS form 9060-5 Production Health FEHD (A1) Dates certificate Letterhead certificate (A2) Pork FSIS form 9060-5 Health FEHD (A1) certificate Beef FSIS form 9297-1 Slaughter Dates Health FEHD (A3) certificate Letterhead Processing certificate (A4) Dates Alligator meat Not covered by Health FEHD FSIS, therefore, Certificate either one of the following certificates should be provided: 1 ) Export Health Certificate issued by the U.S. De partment of C ommerce (A5), or 2) Certificate of Ve terinary Inspec tion issued by individual State (A6) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Scientific name To provide FEHD & Declaration for is provided scientific AFCD Importation or name Exportation of Fish or Wildlife (A7) If the game meat is from an endangered species and listed AFCD under CITES, a To observe the CITES export Protection of permit is required. Endangered (A8) Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance which gives effect to CITES Fish & Seafood Either one of the Health FEHD Products following certificate (not mandatory but certificates to be strongly recommended provided: by the HKG) 1) Export Health Certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce (A5) 2 )Certificate of Veterinary Inspection issued by individual State (A6) & (A9) Milk and Milk Either AMS Health FEHD Beverages certificate issued by certificate AMS of U.S. Department of Agriculture (A10) or Health Certificates issued by individual States whe re the food product is produced. HKG accepts Ce rtificate of Free Sa le issued by the competent health authority of USA (A11), Certificate of Analysis showing The products are microbiological fit for human examination and consumption composition and have been analysis. handled, Microbiological processed and examination refers packed under to total bacterial hygienic count and coliform conditions and organisms count for heat treated in pasteurized accordance with products while the appropriate colony count for heat treatment UHT/sterilized regulation of the products. country of Composition origin. analysis has to show percentage of milk fat (for both milk and milk beverage) and milk solids other than milk fat (for milk). (A12) The Certificate of Analysis has to include the certificate number of the Certificate of Free Sale or AMS certificate, as appropriate, for cross reference. The Certificate of Analysis has to be officially endorsed by Notary Public. Frozen Confections Health Certificate The frozen Health FEHD issued by the confection is fit certificate competent health for human authority of USA consumption where the food and has product is produced. been handled, HKG accepts processed and certificate of free packed under sale issued by the hygiene competent health conditions and authority of USA. has been heat (A13.1 ) & (A13.2) treated in accordance with Certificate of the frozen Analysis showing confection heat microbiological treatment examination and regulations of composition country of analysis. (A12) origin. Microbiological analysis shows total bacterial count and coliform organisms count. (The frozen confection contains not more than 50,000 bacteria per gram and not more than 100 coliform organisms per gram.) Composition analysis has to show percentage of fat, sugar and milk solids other than milk fat -applies to those frozen confections described as ice cream only. (The frozen confection contains not less than 5% fat, 10% sugar and 7.5% milk solids other than milk fat. This condition applies to those frozen confections described as ice cream only.) The Certificate of Analysis has to include the certificate number of the Certificate of Free Sale or AMS certificate, as appropriate, for cross reference. The Certificate of Analysis has to be officially endorsed by Notary Public. Plants APHIS PPQ Form Phytosanitary AFCD (A14) Certificate (For CITES listed P CITES certificate To observe the lants, e.g. ginseng) issued by US Fish Protection of and Wildlife Endangered Service Required Species of (A15) & (A16) Animals and Plants Ordinance which gives effect to CITES Because of risk of APHIS certificates See circulars by Sanitary AFCD animal diseases such as Hong Kong certificates BSE and Avian government Influenza cases, the circulars (A17– HKG recommends HK 21) importers to provide sanitary certificates for the following products: -preserved/stuffed animal specimen -biological products of animal origin -hides and skins of cattle origin -feathers -pet food/animal feed Table Eggs AMS Date of Health FEHD (The HKG is in the production; certificates process of making this name and certification address of requirement processing mandatory. Presently, it plant; products is voluntary for Hong fit for human Kong importers to consumption; provide this certificate Disease free for U.S. egg products to certification Hong Kong.) statements as stated in appendix A22.1 – A22.3 Section II. Purpose of Specific Export Certificate(s) Please refer to the Matrix under Section I. Section III. Specific Attestations Required on Export Certificate(s) Please refer to the Matrix under Section I. Section IV. Government Certificate’s Legal Entry Requirements For meats, milk, frozen confections, and plant imports to Hong Kong, the relevant Hong Kong laws require that each shipment has to be accompanied by valid health/phytosanitary certificates issued by government authorities. Suppliers or Manufacturers Export Declaration are not regarded as valid certificates. Poultry, Red Meats and Game Meats A certificate from FSIS is compulsory. Species should be given as part of product description on FSIS certificates. If the specie is not covered by FSIS inspection, a certificate issued by APHIS or the state government may be acceptable. If the shipment is of a game meat product, the certificate has to show the scientific name and the origin. If the game meat comes from a CITES listed specie, the shipment needs to be accompanied by a CITES export permit. For beef products, Hong Kong currently allows entry of U.S. boneless beef derived from cattle under 30 months of age. An import protocol for U.S. bison meat and ostrich meat to Hong Kong has yet to be established. Eggs The HKG is in the process of making certification requirement mandatory, initially planning to introduce the regulation for Legislative Council vetting in early 2012 and to provide a six month’s grace period after the enactment of the new regulation. However, the HKG still has not announced any specific timeframe of introducing the regulation. Presently, it is voluntary for Hong Kong importers to provide certificates for U.S. egg products to Hong Kong. Seafood Products While no specific Hong Kong laws state health certificates for marine products are compulsory, FEHD strongly encourages importers to obtain certificates issued by U.S. health authorities to accompany their imports certifying that the marine products concerned are fit for human consumption. Valid certificates will expedite customs clearance. The HKG is planning to make certification requirements for seafood products mandatory. No timeframe has been announced. The latest report was released in Nov 2011: HK’s Proposed Import Control of Aquatic Products. Milk and Frozen Confections Hong Kong laws require the importation of milk and frozen confections to obtain prior approval. In addition, each consignment has to be accompanied by a valid certificate. For products from the U.S., Hong Kong government accepts certificates issued by the State government. Plants Hong Kong government requires plant shipments from the U.S. to be accompanied by phtosanitary certificates issued by APHIS. If the specie is listed on CITES, a CITES export permit is required as well. Products Containing Living Modified Organisms Hong Kong passed a Genetically Modified Organisms (Control of Release) Ordinance and the Genetically Modified Organisms (Documentation for Import and Export) Regulation in March 2010 and November 2010 respectively. There are documentation requirements for shipments containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) since the commencement of the Ordinance and the Regulation in March 2011. GMOs in the Ordinance are referred to as LMOs or living modified organisms. Shipments containing GMOs for food or feed or for processing need to be accompanied by documentation containing the following information: If the identity of the GMO is known, the shipment contains such a GMO; if the identity of the GMO is not known, the shipment may contain such a GMO; The GMO is not intended for release into the environment; The common name, scientific name and, where available, commercial name of the GMO; The Internet address of the Biosafety Clearing House; The transformation event code of the GMO or, where available, its unique identifier code; and, The details of the importer or exporter (such as name, address and contact information) for further information. There is no specific requirement regarding the form of documentation accompanying GMO shipments. The use of a commercial invoice or other documents required by existing documentation systems would be sufficient. The HKG uploaded a document sample listing required information for traders’ reference at the AFCD’s website. (http://www.afcd.gov.hk/english/conservation/con_gmo/con_gmo.html) Products containing GMO ingredients for release into the environment or for contained use are required to provide different attestations on documents. Also, importers are required to seek prior approval from AFCD before the importation of products containing GMOs, which are intended to be released to the environment. Horses APHIS reached bilateral agreement with Hong Kong on U.S. horse exports. Three certificates were developed for the: (1) permanent importation, (2) temporary importation, and (3) transit of U.S.-origin equines based on revised Hong Kong requirements that went into effect on September 20, 2011. The bilateral agreements relax the veterinary examination and animal disease testing requirements and timelines for equines from the United States. For details, please contact APHIS Beijing at 86-10-8531- 3033 (fax) or Jiancong.Yao@aphis.usda.gov. Appendix: Electronic Copy or Outline of Each Export Certificate A1. FSIS 9060-5 A2. FSIS Letter Certificate for Poultry A3. FSIS form 9297-1 for Beef Exports to Hong Kong A4. FSIS Letterhead Certificate for Beef A5. Department of Commerce’s Export Health Certificate for Seafood Products A6. Health Certificate issued by Individual State for Seafood Products A7. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife A8. Cites Export Permit A9. Health Certificate issued by Individual States for Seafood Products A10. AMS Certificate for Dairy Products A11. Certificate of Free Sale (for dairy and frozen confections) A12. Certificate of Analysis (for dairy and frozen confections) A13.1 Health Certificate for Ice Cream Products A13.2 Health Certificate Sample for Ice Cream Products A14. Phytosanitary Certificate issued by APHIS A15. CITES Export Permit – Sample for Ginseng Shipment A16. Export Report by APHIS A17. Preserved/Stuffed Animal Specimen A18. Biological Products of Animal Origin A19. Hides and Skins of Cattle Origin to Hong Kong A20. Feathers A21. Pet Food A22.1 Certificate Sample for Eggs A22.2 Certificate Sample for Eggs A22.3 Certificate Sample for Eggs
Posted: 11 January 2013

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