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APHIS Announces New Procedure for Soybean Exports to Mainland China

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service reports that a new procedure for both bulk and container shipments of raw, unprocessed soybeans to mainland China took effect on 1 January. The implementation of this systems approach follows a notification from mainland Chinese officials in September 2017 of foreign material exceeding mainland Chinese standards as well as weed seeds of quarantine concern in U.S. soybean shipments to that market.

Under the new procedure, the USDA’s Federal Grain Inspection Service will sample mainland China-bound soybean shipments and analyse foreign material to monitor for weed seeds in U.S. bulk and container shipments. When FGIS determines that a consignment exceeds one percent foreign material, APHIS will include an additional declaration to that effect on the phytosanitary certificate. In turn, mainland China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has agreed to (i) expedite agricultural clearance of shipments with one percent or less foreign material and (ii) determine whether any phytosanitary measures such as inspection, cleaning, treatment or other protective actions may be appropriate to mitigate pest risk in shipments with more than one percent foreign material. AQSIQ will not hold or unnecessarily delay incoming shipments based solely on the volume of foreign material.

Osama El-Lissy, deputy administrator for APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine programme, observed that his agency is working closely with AQSIQ “on a practical solution that addresses their concerns and provides for the uninterrupted flow of U.S. soybeans.” National Grain and Feed Association President and CEO Randy Gordon added that U.S. soybean producers “look forward to working with APHIS and other stakeholders in the U.S. soybean value chain to develop the components of the systems approach, including weed seed control best practices to be implemented on-farm, starting with the 2018 soybean growing season.” Meanwhile, U.S. Soybean Export Council CEO Jim Sutter expressed confidence that U.S. soybean farmers “will continue to service the important Chinese market without interruption.”

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