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August 19, 2016

China Implements Requirements For Shipments From Zika-Infected Countries, Including The U.S., And Other Recent Chinese Regulatory Developments

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

China Implements Requirements For Shipments From Zika-Infected Countries, Including The U.S.: In March 2016, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ) began requiring all countries on its Zika-infected list to comply with disinsection requirements. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) August 19, 2016, “Update on China’s Requirements for Shipments from Zika-Infected Countries” reports that following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) August 2, 2016, listing of the U.S. as a country reporting mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission, China now requires mosquito disinsection for all U.S.-origin shipments to China. As of August 5, 2016, 40 other countries, including Mexico and Brazil, are subject to these requirements. FAS states that on August 18, 2016, staff from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing met with AQSIQ’s Department of Supervision and Health Quarantine. FAS provides the following summary of its understanding of AQSIQ’s responses during that meeting:

  1. Chinese authorities require all cargo shipments originating from the U.S. to provide proof of disinsection upon arrival at the Chinese port, both either air or sea. This applies to all vessels that left the U.S. on or after August 5, 2016, with the exception of containers kept at or under a temperature of 15°C (59°F).
  2. Disinsection treatment may be carried out by either physical or chemical means, and does not require fumigation. Physical means could include trapping, air curtains, or other integrated pest-management techniques. Chemical means could include surface spraying, space spraying, or fumigation, depending on the shipper’s choice. The treatment used should take into account human health and safety.
  3. Treatment can be carried out at any point during the shipping process. For example, it is acceptable for containers to be disinsected before loading, certified as mosquito free, then loaded in a mosquito-free environment.
  4. Proof of disinsection does not need to be government-issued.
  5. Either the vessel or the container must be certified, not the goods themselves.
  6. The information to be included on the certificate has already been provided in the notice sent out by AQSIQ. If you do not have a copy, FAS can share with you.
  7. All shipments found to contain live mosquito eggs, larvae, or mosquitoes during inspection at the Chinese port will be subject to disinsection, including shipments that are chilled below 15°C (59°F). Chinese authorities will direct a third party to perform any required disinsection in accordance with WHO guidelines as outlined in the AQSIQ announcement. The cost will vary at each port of entry, but AQSIQ estimates that it will be about RMB 200 ($30) for a 20-foot container and RMB 400 ($60) for a 40-foot container.
  8. All WHO member countries where Zika is present will be treated in the same manner.
  9. AQSIQ has not contacted airlines, shipping lines, exporters, etc., about the mosquito treatment requirements. Rather, AQSIQ leaves it up to each CIQ (branch office) at the port of entry to give out this information.
  10. AQSIQ will perform a Zika risk assessment for Florida and neighboring states, based in part on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documentation of control measures. AQSIQ will use the assessment to determine whether to apply a regional approach in its Zika response.
  11. China’s policy applies to Zika and yellow fever, and will remain in effect until March 2017, subject to adjustment or renewal depending on the situation.

Catalog Of Hazardous Wastes Enters Into Force: On August 1, 2016, an updated Catalog of Hazardous Wastes entered into force. Companies must use qualified professional hazardous waste disposal companies to treat wastes listed in the Catalog, which are officially categorized as hazardous. The updates to the 2008 Catalog include the addition of 117 types of hazardous wastes; a list of categories exempt from waste management; and all 2,828 chemicals listed in the State Administration of Work Safety’s (SAWS) Catalog of Hazardous Chemicals are categorized as hazardous waste at the end of their lives.

EU Takes Legal Action Against China’s Restrictions On The Export Of Raw Materials: The EC issued a July 19, 2016, press release, “EU takes legal action against export restrictions on Chinese raw materials,” announcing its third case against China concerning restrictions on the export of raw materials. According to the EC, China currently imposes a set of export restrictions, including export duties and export quotas, that limit access to graphite, cobalt, copper, lead, chromium, magnesia, talcum, tantalum, tin, antimony, and indium for companies outside China. The EC claims that these measures have distorted the market and favored Chinese industry at the expense of companies and consumers in the EU, in violation of general World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and also of China’s specific commitments from the time of its accession to the WTO. The EC states that China’s “alleged aim to support an environmentally friendly and sustainable production of raw materials could be achieved more effectively with other measures, without negative impact on trade.” Formal consultations between the EU and China — the first step in the WTO dispute settlement process — will be conducted in parallel to a similar procedure initiated by the U.S. In absence of a satisfactory solution within 60 days, the EU may request the WTO to set up a panel to rule on the compatibility of China’s measures with WTO rules.