China to strengthen inspections on U.S. apples, unprocessed timber

Updated 2018-05-08 14:15:06

China announced on Monday that it would strengthen inspections on apples and unprocessed timber imported from the U.S., citing the recent discovery of six instances of contamination of U.S. products by a variety of fungi and insects.

In a notice online, the Quarantine Supervision Department of China's General Administration of Customs said that the contaminants might harm China's agricultural industry and its environment.

According to standard procedure of Chinese customs, when any contamination is found on an imported product, samples are sent for laboratory testing and all related shipments are to be detained until the testing is complete.

If contamination is confirmed by laboratory testing, additional measures such as returning or destruction of the merchandise might follow.

The announcement by Chinese customs follows recent media reports on delays in the entry of U.S. agricultural produce into China. Standard procedure in China since November 2017 is to inspect 30 percent of shipments on-site in case of imports from countries with bilateral quarantine protocols.

Inspection rates are increased to 100 percent when some specific threat has been found.

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