Phytosanitary Protocol Will Allow Exports of U.S. Rice to China
The U.S. and China have agreed on a phytosanitary protocol that will permit U.S. exports of milled rice to China, according to a USA Rice press release. USA Rice Chairman Dow Brantley said this protocol is “more complicated and detailed than any other rice protocol in the world” but “will result in a new market opening up for U.S.-grown rice.”
To turn this protocol into actual export opportunities, the press release states, the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has laid out a series of steps involving separate inspections by APHIS and its Chinese counterpart of U.S. mills and storage facilities interested in exporting to China, publication by China of a list of ports eligible to receive U.S. rice, and issuance of a decree by the Chinese government authorizing imports. APHIS estimates that if there are no interruptions to this process exports could be permitted by early spring.
Because the technical aspects of this agreement are unlike any other protocol the U.S. rice industry currently operates under, Chris Crutchfield, who chairs the USA Rice Millers Phytosanitary Protocol Task Force, said he “strongly encourage[s] all facilities and exporters who wish to be involved in the Chinese rice trade to carefully read and understand all aspects of the agreement, and to develop and follow strict standard operating procedures and protocols including the detailed maintenance of records, as everything will need to be available for inspection by Chinese government officials at their request.”