On July 8, the deputy director of the Department of Health and Quarantine of the General Administration of Customs of China said that, judging from the detection situation at ports across the country, although the global COVID-19 remains high and in some countries and regions has rebounded, the number of positive tests for imported cold chain food has recently dropped significantly. For overseas enterprises that test positive for covid-19, emergency preventive measures to suspend import declarations will no longer be implemented.
This favorable policy is bound to improve the efficiency of customs clearance, which is undoubtedly great news for overseas companies. However, when the customs released this policy, it also issued a new announcement on the prevention and control measures of imported cold chain food.
Judging from the new announcement, “no longer implementing emergency preventive measures for suspending import declarations” does not mean that the prevention and control of imported cold chain food is relaxed, but the source control is strengthened. China Customs will continue to detect coronavirus on imported cold chain products, and will also strengthen communication and consultation with the competent authorities of exporting countries or regions, raise the level of talks, increase the frequency of meetings, and urge enterprises exporting to China to implement their safety protection responsibilities.
In the first half of this year, the customs inspected 182 cold chain food production enterprises by video, and held 208 videoconferences with the official competent authorities of relevant countries or regions.
The customs will comprehensively consider the implementation of source control in the exporting country or region, and appropriately adjust the proportion and quantity of sampling inspections. The customs shall inspect and investigate the pollution prevention measures of the exporting country or region according to the test results, and take measures such as rectification within a time limit, suspension of imports, and cancellation of registration for overseas food production enterprises with problems in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
This means that if there are too many positive tests, there is also the risk of being suspended or even revoked. But in general, canceling the policy of suspending declarations, changing the previous single control, and further achieving scientific and precise air defense will greatly improve the efficiency of customs clearance.