A recently negotiated quarantine clearance agreement between New
South Wales dairy Norco Co-operative Limited
(Norco), export agent Peloris Global Sourcing Pty
Ltd (PGS) and the Chinese government has paved the
way for the export of fresh milk by Norco into China. The
development opens a new market for Norco (and dairy farmers
supplying Norco) amidst the price wars between major Australian
In this Alert, Partners Simon Panegyres and Nicole Radice and
Associate Ryan White summarise the revised process for the export
of fresh milk from Australia to China.
Reduction in quarantine and exportation timeframes
Strict testing and quarantine processes both within Australia
prior to shipment and in China upon arrival had previously resulted
in an export time of between 14 – 21 days, meaning fresh milk
could not be exported within its shelf life. That export time has
now been reduced to approximately nine days, meaning that the
exportation of fresh milk from Australia to China is now a
The agreement follows a lengthy process of collaboration between
PGS and officials in China, to satisfy the relevant Chinese
agencies that the quality assurance protocols in place on the
Australian side are not only adequate, but align with Chinese food
safety regulatory requirements. It remains to be seen whether other
Australian food producers and exporters seek similar concessions in
order to expedite their export process for products with similarly
short shelf lives.
China's import requirements
Significantly, the concession comes at a time when China is
introducing increasingly stringent import requirements for dairy
products, requiring approval of government authorities of exporting
countries, mandatory registration of all overseas producers, new
health certification attestations and details of testing against
China's quality standards.
New regulations came into force on 1 May 2014 requiring that
entities manufacturing or storing milk products for export to China
be registered by the Certification and Accreditation Administration
of the People's Republic of China (CNCA).
Australian producer register
The registration process for Australian producers will be
managed by the Department of Agriculture, which has submitted a
list of the dairy processing and storage establishments registered
for export as at 4 April 2014.The Department will be responsible
for submitting updates of this list to the CNCA.
Goods from unregistered producers will not be approved for
import, making it critical that all Australian producers intending
to export to China ensure they have gained registration. Exporters
must also ensure they source products from export-registered
These developments signal both an increasing desire on the part
of the Chinese government to establish a robust food safety regime
and a growing recognition that Australian producers can provide a
"clean and green" source of premium fresh food products
to service China's significant consumer base.
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