Chinese customs authorities have announced they will no longer carry out a time-consuming process that tends to slow the pace that crab imports can be brought into Chinese markets.
The process of “batch inspections” will no longer be required on the North American crab products, according to an announcement from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of China.
Crab from Ireland has also been removed from the list of products subject to batch inspections. The decision is a result of an agreement between the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) and AQSIQ. Those two agencies reached a technical deal that had been had been in the works until negotiations stalled in April, when China expressed concern about the levels of the heavy metal cadmium in Irish live crabs.
Other seafood products from elsewhere in the world will continue to be subject to batch inspections, including “black crab” from Bangladesh, live crab from France and Holland and geoduck from Canada.
Separately, a trade dispute between China and Australia has escalated, with China moving to block imports of beef produced by six Australian companies after Australian authorities slapped a ban on shrimp imported from China.
Australia is the dominant player in China’s beef market. The move could suggest a more retaliatory approach by China towards nations that put barriers on its seafood exports.