Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
Australian exporters of fresh milk to China are set to benefit
with the lifting of duplicated quarantine procedures that will help
ensure the product is sold to consumers quicker.
The Chinese quarantine regulator has recently acknowledged that
its testing regime for imported fresh milk essentially duplicates
the testing programme that is applied to fresh milk before it
Consequently, it seems increasingly likely that the Chinese
regulator will adopt a fast track quarantine process for imported
Australian fresh milk.
Existing regulatory requirements in China have historically
meant that fresh milk would often sit in quarantine for anywhere
between 14 and 21 days, which meant that the remaining shelf life
for the milk made the exercise too risky from an Australian
The fast track programme will substantially reduce the
quarantine period, meaning that a much greater proportion of the
product's shelf life will be spent on the shelf in Chinese
supermarkets, instead of in quarantine.
Peloris Global Sourcing Pty Ltd (PGS) and Norco
Co-operative Limited (Norco) have confirmed a
successful pilot shipment in March 2014 of almost 1,000 litres of
fresh milk to China pursuant to the newly negotiated framework.
This development is the culmination of 12 months of negotiation
between PGS and Chinese officials, with both sides collaborating to
develop quality assurance measures that satisfy the relevant food
standards agencies in both China and Australia. This has been
complemented by changes to China's import clearance procedures
for fresh milk, to reduce the import clearance time.
This development is largely contrary to the current trend of
increasingly strict import requirements being imposed by China in
respect of dairy products following several dairy-related
contamination scares in recent years. Most recent of which is the
requirement that, from 1 May 2014, all entities manufacturing or
storing milk products for export to China must be registered with
the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the
People's Republic of China (CNCA).
For Australian businesses, the process of registration with CNCA
is managed through the Department of Agriculture, which has already
published an approved list of dairy processors and storage
facilities registered for export and will provide regular updates
of this list to CNCA directly.
Australian dairy operators will note the significance of being
registered with CNCA as, not only will unregistered producers not
be allowed to export products to China, but registered entities
must ensure that they source products only from other registered
entities otherwise, despite themselves being registered, their
exports may not be approved for export to China.
The fast track programme is a signal of the countries'
respective flexibility and cooperative nature towards facilitating
the export of fresh Australian produce for consumption in China,
subject to an open dialogue ensuring Chinese food safety
requirements are met at all times.
On the back of these recent developments, the Victorian
Government has expressed its support for local milk exporters,
saying it: "is committed to improving market access through
advocacy to the Commonwealth on free trade matters but also on a
product to product basis by working with individual companies to
access market opportunities."
Holding Redlich's key contacts below would be happy to
provide you with further information in relation to dairy exports
to China, or Agribusiness generally.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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