China starts process to register foreign exporters of agricultural products | 2021-12-07 – Community News
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China starts process to register foreign exporters of agricultural products | 2021-12-07

China is asking agricultural and food exporters to register with the country’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) so that the government can centralize information on companies that sell a wide variety of products to Chinese buyers.

The US Food and Drug Administration says it is wary of possible consequences for trade, but the FDA is also facilitating the registration that China requires.

Still, the FDA says it is monitoring the situation.

“While China has not confirmed that collecting this information is a prerequisite for US facilities to export to China, the FDA is making this request as a precaution against potential trade disruption,” the agency said.

The FDA this week asked US agricultural and food exporters shipping to China “to voluntarily submit information. We are making this request in response to new registration requirements for facilities from China.”

Many US exporters that ship beef, pork, dairy and other products covered by the “phase one” trade deal will not be affected, but many other US exporters are being told by GACC to register their facilities by January. 1.

FDA says it believes U.S. goods “covered by existing bilateral agreements with China, such as the Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement, and other bilateral facility registration arrangements” are already considered registered.

Registration through FDA’s Export Listing Module (ELM) began Monday, and the agency is asking exporters under FDA’s regulatory authority to complete the process by December 17. But many exporters are already registered with FDA’s ELM and they don’t have to. something else.

“The FDA currently facilitates the registration of U.S. seafood, dairy and infant formula companies by providing the GACC with documents identifying certified sites and products that meet applicable U.S. requirements,” the FDA said. “U.S. companies that have filed with the FDA (ELM) and are currently listed as certified by the GACC for the export of seafood, dairy products and infant formulas to China are not required to take any action regarding registration at this time.”

Julie Adams, a vice president of the Almond Board of California, said she was delighted to see the FDA’s announcement, something the group had been waiting for.

“They have a portal open where you can go in and register,” Adams said of the FDA. Speaking about China’s broad registration requirement that the country calls Decree 248, she said, “We were waiting for the FDA to come up with a recommendation on how they want to go about that.”

In its announcement this week, the FDA assured U.S. food and agriculture exporters that the agency will “provide direct certification to GACC for U.S. facilities and their products that meet applicable U.S. requirements to facilitate registration.”

The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service says China’s Decree 248 provides the option for some U.S. agricultural exporters to use a “self-registration” option, which allows some manufacturers and processors to register directly with China’s GACC, but both the US Trade Representative’s office and the FDA seem unsure about that option.

Regarding self-registration, the FDA says that “the GACC has not confirmed this interpretation of Decree 248 and has failed to provide adequate further guidance for the United States. As the United States continues to work with China at multiple levels to ensure minimal new requirements for the United States, the FDA is taking proactive steps to maintain current market access for FDA-regulated companies in the United States that export food to China. ”

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