.To better understand the latest interpretation of Beijing’s new import requirements for U.S. frozen meat exports, ATO Guangzhou pressed the Guangdong CIQ for answers.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number: CH11826
China - Peoples Republic of
ATO Guangzhou engages Guangdong Provincial CIQ on
frozen meat certif
Livestock and Products
Trade Policy Incident Report
Summary: In an effort to better understand the latest interpretation of Beijing’s new import
requirements for U.S. frozen meat exports, ATO Guangzhou pressed the Guangdong Provincial
Quarantine and Inspection Bureau (CIQ) for answers to the 51 health certificates for U.S. frozen meat
still held in ports under their authority. On August 20, ATO Guangzhou facilitated a meeting with the
leaders of the Provincial Bureau and included representatives from the U.S. Poultry and Egg Export
Council and the U.S Meat Export Federation. After almost two hours of detailed discussions, Post was
informed that 51 containers were still detained. One piece of favorable news was that Guangdong CIQ
still accepted “in lieu of” certificates and would establish a regular communication mechanism with Post
on the release of the detained shipments.
Background: In April, the Guangdong Provincial Quarantine and Inspection Bureau (CIQ) initiated a
verification process in an effort to compel the United States to adopt an electronic certificate verification
system for U.S. frozen meat product shipments. All U.S. frozen meat products arrived at ports under the
supervision of Guangdong CIQ would require verification from the Food Safety Inspection Service
(FSIS) thereafter. When the electronic system (eTDE) for health certificates was introduced on June 1st,
all of the health certificates had to be verified by CIQ port officers in their internal database before the
product meat products could be released. However, some issues remain unsolved which include some
shipments before and after the effective day of June 1st.
To obtain the exact number of detained shipments at port before June 1
To obtain the exact number of detained shipments at port after June 1 and reasons for their
To discuss areas of improvement in communication exchanges and areas where Post can
facilitate the release of detained shipments at port
Issues with the electronic verification system and training requirements
Strategies: On August 8, ATO Guangzhou organized a networking dinner with Guangdong CIQ prior
to the official meeting. The dinner was supported with funding from the Emerging Market Program’s
CIQ Outreach fund. The purpose of the dinner was to set a friendly tone with the newly appointed CIQ
Guangdong Director and select staff supervising frozen meat import departments. The official meeting
began with an iteration of ATO Guangzhou’s history of overview of trainings programs held in country,
public diplomacy programs in the States supported by USDA and FSIS, and an overview of ATO
Guangzhou’s role in facilitating discussion with FSIS and other regulatory agencies. ATO Director also
provided an overview of FAS/AMS efforts on the eTDE system and its updates based on previous
conference calls and emails on the issue.
Guangdong CIQ’s newly appointed director responsible for frozen meat products inspection
appreciated Post’s efforts to increase outreach and communication as well as in supporting
Guangdong CIQ front line officers’ work through training programs
Guangdong CIQ continues to accept “in lieu of” health certificates unlike Shanghai, Shenzhen or
Guangdong CIQ agreed to set up a regular communication mechanism with ATO Guangzhou to
facilitate the release of detained shipments
We now know that 51 containers remain held at ports. (According to CIQ Guangdong, they sent
786 certificates for verification and did not receive feedback for 193 of them.)
If a health certificate could not be found in the electronic system, the six-digit document ID can
be provided to CIQ to help search the certificate and verify with FSIS. A product can only be
released when the electronic information is found in CIQ’s system, so a hard copy of the health
certificate will not be accepted. This information is clear now.
Guangdong CIQ suggestions:
The stability of the eTDE system “should be improved” (generally speaking)
Trainings/communications should be provided to U.S. exporters in terms of how to input and
what type of port information to be input. Try to avoid errors, such as missing hyphens or
wrong names of port. This is a common practice given the large number of ports managed by
Guangdong CIQ can be confusing to U.S. exporters. Accuracy is critical when AQSIQ systems
input data from eTDE (Note: CIQ Guangdong doesn’t actually have access to the eTDE.)
U.S. side should set a time frame for verification process to shorten the waiting time at ports.
AQSIQ forwarded 3,288 certificates for verification, and received 2,700 responses from FSIS.
There are still containers dated back to May sitting at various ports of Guangdong and
Shenzhen (Note: Shenzhen ports are managed by Shenzhen CIQ, an entirely separate CIQ
regulatory authority reporting directly to Beijing.)
U.S. exporters could improve packaging and labeling. Labeling is a big problem for frozen meat
products: limited to no Chinese, incomplete product information, typos and wrong information
is typically encountered by inspection officials.
Follow up: ATO Guangzhou will sustain its efforts in maintaining effective working relationships with
Guangdong CIQ and press them on improving communication channels for detained U.S. agricultural
products. The issue for Post remains that many requests are not forwarded from FSIS to Guangdong
CIQ in a timely fashion and the national quarantine and inspection administration (AQSIQ) sometimes
provides separate verification requests creating duplicate workloads and confusion.