China - Live Animal Import and Export Regulations


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A look at the web of Chinese laws that potentially apply to the import of live animals into China.

Recently, Australia’s Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce announced that Australia will export up to 1 million head of cattle a year to China, worth around AUD1 billion (USD856 million), to meet booming demand for red meat under a long-awaited deal set to be signed shortly. Shipping live animals from Australia to China has been discussed for many years, talks had been stalled over the presence
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in the Australian herd of Bluetongue disease, the agreement is a major breakthrough for the cattle import. Live cattle exports could help curb high beef prices in China and open up a new market for Australian farmers.

Carrying out the trade of cattle (including cattle for slaughter, dairy cattle and breeding cattle) import in China, needs to go through a series of inspection and quarantine procedures in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations. The main laws and regulations applied to the inspection and quarantine procedures including:

1. Law of People’s Republic of China on the Entry and Exit Animal and Plant Quarantine [Revised] (Effective date: 1 April, 1992; Revised on 27 August, 2009; Issuing authority: Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress);

2. Regulations for the Implementation of the Law of People’s Republic of China on the Entry and Exit Animal and Plant Quarantine (Effective date: 1 January, 1997; Issuing authority: State Council);

3. Measures for the Supervision and Administration of the Use of Imported Animal Quarantine Station (Effective date: 22 October, 2009; Issuing authority: the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine );

4. Announcement No. 2013 of the Ministry of Agriculture and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine —— Catalog of the People’s Republic of China on Quarantine and Epidemics Involving Imported Animals (Effective date: 28 November, 2013; Issuing authority: the Ministry of Agriculture and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine );

5. Provisions on the Inspection Samples of Import & Export Commodities (Effective date: 12 November, 1988; Issuing authority: State Administration of Entry-Exit Inspection & Quarantine );

6. Notice of the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine on Issuing the Plan for Handling Serious Entry and Exit Animal Epidemic Emergencies (Effective date: 30 June, 2005; Issuing authority: State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection & Quarantine );

7. Regulation on Breeding Stock and Poultry (Revised) (Effective date: 1 July, 1994; Revised on: 8 January, 2011; Issuing authority: State Council)

8. The Protocol between China and Australia on the Matter of Quarantine and Healthy for the Live Cattle imported to China (Signed by AQSIQ and The Australian Department of Agriculture)

Related quarantine approval issued by AQSIQ needs to be obtained before the signing of import agreement. The main processes for the application of approval are as follows:

1、 Approval for animal quarantine station

Use of State Animal Quarantine Station

According to Article 6 and Article 10 of Measures for the Supervision and Administration of the Use of Imported Animal Quarantine Station, cattle entry need to get approval from AQSIQ, and the imported cattle need to be isolated for quarantine in State Animal Quarantine Station; once the approval is granted, AQSIQ will list the details in the Approval of Quarantine for Entry and Exit Animal and Plant.

The applicant needs to file the following documents for the application of approval for State animal quarantine station:

a. Application Form of Use of Imported Animal Quarantine Station;
b. The copy of identification materials of the users (legal entity or natural person);
c. Transportation arrangement plan and the routes from the port to the quarantine station for imported animal.

Use of Designated Animal Quarantine Station

When a state animal quarantine station cannot meet the requirements, the isolation quarantine need to be carried out in the designated animal quarantine station, the applicant needs to apply to local quarantine bureau for approval. Required documents will be filed as follows in this case:

a. Application Form of Use of Animal Quarantine Station;

b. The copy of identification materials of the users (legal entity or natural person);

c. The copy of documents for rights of foreign trade management;

d. The general layout plan and photographs that showing the facilities and equipment for the designated animal quarantine station;

e. The system of animal epidemic prevention, feeding and management for the animal quarantine station;

f. The evidence to proof the place where the animal quarantine station does not occur any animal infections which outlined in Catalog of the People’s Republic of China on Quarantine and Epidemics Involving Imported Animals related to the cattle of isolation and quarantine, such evidence need to be issued by the administrative departments of people’s Governments above the county level;

g. Transportation arrangement plan and the routes from the port to the imported animal quarantine station;

h. When the user of animal quarantine station is not the owner of the animal quarantine station, the user needs to provide
the agreement of the animal quarantine station which signed with the owner;

i. Other documents required by the local quarantine bureau.

Besides, the temporary animal quarantine station will meet the following conditions in accordance with Article 19 of Measures for the Supervision and Administration of the Use of Imported Animal Quarantine Station:

a. The infrastructure need to meet the construction standards of animal quarantine station;

b. develop appropriate management systems in accordance with the relevant provisions for management on temporary animal quarantine station for imported animal quarantine farm management issued by AQSIQ;

c. The owner and user of animal quarantine station comply with the relevant provisions and enter into a lease agreement;

d. The local quarantine bureau has the capacity of handing basic animal quarantine and laboratory for the big and middle size of animal;

e. The infrastructure comply with the relevant provisions and have legal documents for land use;

f. The port has the capability of loading and unloading animals.

After passing the examination, the local quarantine bureau will issue the Approval of Animal Quarantine Station for Entry and Exit Animal. If unqualified, the applicant needs to rectify or alter the animal quarantine station.

2、 Approval of Quarantine for Imported Animal/Approval of Breeding Stock and Poultry

For the import of dairy cattle or beef cattle, the applicant needs to submit the documents as follow to apply the Approval of Quarantine for Imported Animal:

a. The copy of Certificate of Identification for the legal entity;

b. The approval of use of state or designated animal quarantine station.

After the examination, AQSIQ will issue the Approval of Quarantine for Imported Animal for the qualified application; otherwise, the local quarantine bureau or AQSIQ will issue the Notice of Refusal for Approval of Quarantine for Imported Animal to the applicant or its agency.

However, for the breeding cattle import, the applicant needs to submit the following required documents to get Approval of Breeding Stock and Poultry from Ministry of Agriculture:
a. The application form of import or export breeding stock and poultry;

b. The copy of Certificate of breeding stock and poultry;

c. The Certificate of Genealogy for breeding stock and poultry issued by the exported country;

d. The documents that proof the quantity of the imported breeding stock and poultry are matched with the production ability of importer;

e. The Purchase Agreement on Breeding Stock and Poultry signed by exporter and importer.

3、 Inspection Reporting to the Port of Entry

The applicant or its agency needs to report to relevant quarantine departments and apply the inspection in advance 30 days before the entry of cattle. The following documents will be required for the application:

a. Application for Inspection Form;

b. A legal Approval of Quarantine for Imported Animal;

c. The official Certificate of Quarantine issued by the export country;

d. Relevant agreements, letter of credit, invoice, packing list;

e. If reported and applied by the agency, the agency needs to provide the Power of Attorney.

4、 On-site Inspection

When imported live cattle arrive in the port of entry, the applicant or his agent needs to inform the inspection and quarantine authorities to conduct on-site inspection. Inspection and quarantine officials will perform the boarding check. After passing the on-site inspection, the applicant will be granted Entry Customs Clearance Bill and Certificate of Disinfect for Conveyance; at the same time, the officials will escort the imported cattle to the designated animal quarantine station for the follow up isolation quarantine.

If the following occurs, inspection and quarantine authorities will conduct corresponding measures:

a. When the cattle arrive in the port of entry without a valid certificate or a quarantine certificate, these cattle will be returned or destroyed;

b. The official find dead or infected animals at the on-site inspection, inspection and quarantine authorities need to record the quarantine in detail and isolate the infected animals immediately, make quarantine treatments to the beding materials, remaining feed and excrement and so on; and dissect the dead animals then sent samples to the laboratory for diagnosis;

c. The imported cattle have the symptoms of animal infections which are outlined in Catalog of the People’s Republic of China on Quarantine and Epidemics Involving Imported Animals , the official will blockade the site and take urgent prevention measures, notify the owner or its agency to stop unloading, and report to AQSIQ or local governments in accordance with Notice of the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine on Issuing the Plan for Handling Serious Entry and Exit Animal Epidemic Emergencies ;

d. Fails to transport the imported cattle under the route designated by Approval of Quarantine for Imported Animal, the applicant will be punished according to the degree of seriousness, and the cattle will be returned or destroyed;

e. The imported cattle are unloaded without the consent of inspection and quarantine authorities, the applicant will be punished according to the degree of seriousness;

f. Before the cattle arrival or when the cattle arrival, the exported country occur animal disease emergency, inspection and quarantine authorities will implement relevant announcements issued by AQSIQ.

5、 Isolation Quarantine

The general period of isolation quarantine is 45 days. Laboratory quarantine will be carried out on the period of isolation quarantine, the applicant or its agency needs to assist the sampling work, inspection and quarantine authorities will issue the Certificate of Sampling after the sampling finish. If the cattle get sick or the test result of sampling is positive, the following steps will be taken:

a. Separate isolation for the cattle;

b. Disinfect to the contaminated sites, articles and related items;

c. The cattle are forbidden to be transferred or slaughtered.

6、 Certificate of Release issued

After the expiration of the isolation period and the laboratory quarantine work is completed, the official will still make a final clinical examination, then the qualified cattle will be granted the Certificate of Quarantine for Entry Goods and released after the final clinical examination.

Besides, The Protocol between China and Australia on the Matter of Quarantine and Healthy for the Live Cattle imported to China also provide strict rules for the quarantine process. Under the Protocol, AQSIQ has the obligations to send veterinarian to Australia farm or other facilities to work with Australia veterinarian for quarantine to the cattle which will be exported to China. The Australian Department of Agriculture needs to make quarantine for the live cattle on the farm where the cattle lives in, the qualified cattle will be transferred to specialized station and received isolation observation for 30-50 days, and will be accepted further quarantine and plant vaccine. Moreover, 24 hours prior to export, Australia veterinarian will carry out the final inspection for the cattle, only the health cattle can be shipped to China, the transport of loading for the live cattle also needs to be rigorously cleaned.

The above is the main inspection and quarantine procedures for carrying out the trade of cattle import in China. Those procedures may be amended or supplemented while the above mentioned mutual agreement between Australia and China is signed, we will continue to make attentions to the trend of the cattle import from Australia to China and update the relevant inspection and quarantine procedures promptly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Xuan
Sarah Xuan is an Associate with the MMLC Group.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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