Salmon and other seafood exporters look set to face stricter regulations when exporting to China.
The authorities in Beijing have decided to issue new health certificates with tougher demands which are due to come into force from the start of 2021.
According to the Norwegian Seafood Council, China is demanding that details of the entire production chain must be listed before it will accept fish from abroad. However, this has yet to be confirmed. They also want the names of fish farms, cold stores and fishing boats along with demands that packaging be disinfected against Covid-19.
It is advising its members to keep in close contact with customers and importers in China to ensure they are on the right side of the regulations.
According to financial news agency TDN Direkt, the Seafood Council has said it is risky to export fish from centres and fishing vessels that are not registered in China. And it is warning there may be some uncertainty until the new regulations come into force on 1 January.
While Norway is one of China’s largest overseas salmon suppliers, the rules apply to all seafood exporting countries.
Although China was the country where coronavirus pandemic began 12 months ago, it now has some of the tightest measures against the disease.
The authorities claim that salmon packaging from Chile has shown signs of infections. Earlier this year a large Beijing food market was forced to shut after a salmon chopping board, used for imported fish, was found to contain evidence of Covid.
At first it was thought the infection had come from a Norwegian supplier, but this was later disproved. However, the incident led to a temporary slump in imports from northern hemisphere countries.