Background

The 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 China took effect Jan. 1, 2018. The implementation of this systems approach follows a notification from Chinese officials in September of foreign material exceeding Chinese standards as well as weed seeds of quarantine concern in U.S. soybean shipments to that country. 

Under the new procedure, USDA’s Federal Grain Inspection Service will sample China-bound soybean shipments and analyze 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, China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine has agreed to (a) expedite agricultural clearance of shipments with one percent or less foreign material and (b) 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.

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