China’s AQSIQ releases seafood import rejections

Published on
February 23, 2015

A document released to media by China’s Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) offers insight into the quarantine process for seafood at Chinese ports. The document is a list of seafood imports in December that were either returned to the original exporter or destroyed.

There is no indication of blame of any party but the document appears to have been released to highlight the vigilance of the AQSIQ on seafood imports. The document however should also underline the challenges for international companies selling seafood to China where logistics and trading firms remain highly fragmented.

Among the firms listed is Canadian firm Blundell Seafoods Ltd., which shipped 5 kilograms (kg) of chilled halibut to Guangzhou Zhenhua Import and Export Co: This shipment was destroyed by Guangdong authorities for “carrying pests,” according to the document.

Up north in Liaoning province two batches, 8 kg and 25 kg, of frozen sole fillets from Spanish based Galicia Seafood Processing SA (the import company is listed as Dalian Yi He Food Co.) were destroyed because both shipments lacked “the required certificate.”

“Frozen giant grouper head” (1,428 kg) from New Zealand-based United Fisheries Limited shipped to Guangzhou Heng Hang Trading Co. were destroyed for excessive amounts of total volatile base nitrogen (TVBN). Excessive TVBN was also the reason cited by Shandong authorities for the return of 26,994 kg “frozen squid” shipped from Chilean firm Pesquera Villa Alegre SA, with the importer listed as Qingdao Yi Yafei Import & Export Co., Ltd.

Also returned from Shandong: frozen surimi from Vietnam firm Bac Dau Co, Ltd to Shibo Jia Food Co., Ltd. 20,000 kg which contained “animal-derived ingredients” banned for import. Likewise a 20,000 kg batch was returned to Sea Prime Exco Vietnam Song Doc Processing Factory-FSD (the importer is listed as Shibo Jia Food Co., Ltd. Shandong) for containing “animal-derived ingredients banned for import.”

Down in the southern Chinese processing and trade hub of Xiamen a 10 kg batch of “frozen octopus frozen white pulp” supplied by Indian firm M/S Amarsagar Seafoods Pvt Ltd to Xiamen Import and Export Co Ltd was destroyed for having an “excessive number of colonies.” Also in Xiamen port, 16,800 kg of salted jellyfish from Indonesian firm Mahachai Food & Trading co., Ltd (again shipped to Xiamen Import and Export Co., Ltd) was returned for “excessive aluminum.”

Several batches of seafood from Taiwan were destroyed in southern ports: 16.8 kg of tuna fish floss shipped from Kim Ann Kee Food Co., Ltd to Tang Cheung Trading (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd was destroyed for excessive “inorganic” residues. Two small shipments of seaweed from Taiwan firm Sky Food Co., Ltd to importer Dongshan County Trading Co., Ltd were destroyed for “unqualified” labeling.

AQSIQ inspects plants and also increasingly acts as a regulator and trainer of exporter-processors at a local level. As well as regulating hygiene standards across the food processing sector nationwide, AQSIQ operates entry-exit inspection offices (known as CIQ) at ports around China.

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