Food exporters warned of China crackdown on expired registrations

Food exporters warned of China crackdown on expired registrations

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the Import and Export Food Safety Bureau of the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) has called on Philippine producers to renew their registrations.

In an advisory posted last week, the DTI said the GACC has noted that a number of Philippine aquaculture enterprises hold expired registrations or are close to expiry.

The GACC said that it is requiring overseas food production enterprises exporting to China to renew their registrations and file their applications for renewal three to six months before the expiry date.

“Failure to apply for renewal of registration or failure to provide timely explanation, in writing, the reason for late renewal may result in deregistration,” according to the advisory. 

Asked to comment, the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. said this was “the first time this was imposed by China that this poses another burden to our exporters.”

According to the advisory, Philippine aquaculture companies planning to renew their GACC registration should work through with the Fisheries Inspection Section of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Meanwhile, exporters of fresh fruit and vegetables and of processed foods work with the Bureau of Plant Industry’s National Plant Quarantine Services Division and the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Regulation and Research, respectively.

Exporters of other food products are required to directly register through the GACC website.

GACC registration takes place via the China Single Window online system, also known as CIFER. Registrations are valid for five years.

China was among the top five export trading partners of the Philippines in October, accounting for $880.37 million or 13.8% of the Philippines’ total exports, according to preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. 

In the 10 months to October, Philippine exports to China amounted to $9.12 billion, or about 15% of total export.

In the 10 months, $643.35 million of the exports consisted of fresh food, processed food, aquaculture and beverages. — Justine Irish D. Tabile