Certification Requirements – China
Last update: July 9, 2013
Acts and Regulations
Regulations on Inspection and Quarantine of Import and Export Aquatic Products effective as of June 30, 2003. These regulations apply to fish and fish products, with the exception of live fish, whether exported for direct consumption or for further processing in China.
These regulations are administered by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ).
An unofficial translation of the Regulations on Inspection and Quarantine of Import and Export Aquatic Products is available. Please note that this only serves as a guide. Exporters should carefully discuss regulations and their application with Chinese importers to ensure that their interpretation of the regulations is accurate.
Packages containing imported fish products must be in good condition and sound. The outside (master) carton must be resistant to damage and both the outside and inner packaging must be new, non-toxic and clean.
All packages of fish products must be labelled in Chinese and English indicating in clear and easy-to-read symbols and letters:
- Product Identity: Common Name, Scientific Name and Product Specifications;
- Production Identity: Production date/code which must clearly identify the year, month and day of production, and batch Code/lot number;
- Preservation Requirements: for example, keep frozen
- Processing Establishment: Establishment name and CFIA registration number;
- Country of Destination: Official Name - People's Republic of China;
- Production method and fishing region:
- for products caught at sea - sea capture;
- for fresh water products - fresh water capture;
- for aquaculture products - aquaculture freshwater or aquaculture sea.
When a material is used as a component of the package and cannot function as a package on its own (e.g. plastic liners used to protect products against dehydration), then this material does not need to be labelled. A sealed bag is considered a package and must be labelled.
These labelling requirements are in addition to those currently required for all Canadian fish and fish products destined for human consumption.
It is strongly recommended that exporters verify with their importers and distributors in China that the products are labelled in accordance with the new Regulation.
Tolerances and Guidelines
Maximum level of contaminants in fish products:
- Lead: 0.5 ppm
- Mercury: 1.0 ppm (for carnivores)
- Mercury: 0.5 ppm (other fish)
- Inorganic arsenic: 0.1 ppm for finfish / 0.5 ppm for all other fish
- Cadmium: 0.1 ppm (finfish only)
- Total PCB: 2.0 ppm
- PCB 138: 0.5 ppm
- PCB 153: 0.5 ppm
|Chloramphenicol||Aquaculture and wild caught fresh water fish||None Detected|
|Crystal Violet (and Leucocrystal violet)||Aquaculture and wild caught fresh water fish||None Detected|
|Furazolidone||Not specified||None detected|
|Malachite Green (and Leucomalachite green)||Aquaculture and wild caught fresh water fish||None detected|
|Nitrofurans||Aquaculture and wild caught fresh water fish||None Detected|
|Quinolones||Aquaculture and wild caught fresh water fish||≤ 0.1 mg/kg|
|Stilbestrol||Not specified||None detected|
|Sulfonamide||Aquaculture and wild caught fresh water fish||≤ 0.1 mg/kg|
|Terramycin||Not specified||≤ 0.1mg/kg muscle|
|Uritrate (Oxolinic Acid)||Eels||≤ 0.3 mg/kg muscle and skin|
(1 mg/kg = 1 ppm)
Export certificates may only be issued for product processed or stored in establishments that are listed on the List of Canadian establishments approved for export to the People's Republic of China - PDF (213 kb). To be included on this list, processing establishments or cold storage warehouses must submit a request to the CFIA in accordance with the Procedure to Update the List of Canadian establishments approved for export to the People's Republic of China.
Fresh and frozen fish and fish products including bivalve molluscan shellfish
Health Certificate for Fishery products intended for export from Canada to the People's Republic of China CFIA/ACIA 5328 to be completed in either English or French.
Under section II. Origin of the fishery products, "Production place" should be completed by identifying the appropriate CFIA Area, i.e. Atlantic Canada, Quebec Canada, Ontario Canada, or Western Canada.
For all wild caught fish, the name and registration number of one of the fishing vessels used to harvest the fish as well as the FAO fishing area must be provided on the certificate.
For all aquaculture fish, the name and address of one of the fish farms where the fish were raised must be provided on the certificate.
Live fish including live bivalve molluscan shellfish
Origin and Hygiene Certificate for live fish intended for export for human consumption from Canada to the People's Republic of China, CFIA/ACIA 5584.
Edible Seal Products
An administrative arrangement on market access for edible seal products from Canada to China was initiated in January 2011. However, implementation of this arrangement is on hold pending a review and decision by Chinese authorities of a proposal to ban imports of edible seal products.
In the event of future market access for edible seal products into China, the CFIA will be verifying that the following certification requirements are met. This will support the timely entry of the industry into the Chinese import market.
All consignments of edible seal products presented for import into China must be accompanied by an official export certificate (CFIA/ACIA 5651) issued by CFIA. In order to be eligible to receive such certificates, exporters are required to ensure the following conditions are met:
- Products originate from processing establishments which are registered by the CFIA and the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China (CNCA). As part of the CNCA registration process, processing establishments are required to complete the Application for Export of Meat and Meat Products to P.R.C. - PDF (266 kb) and submit to a CFIA Inspector.
- The processing establishment has an accepted (by CFIA) Quality Management Program (QMP) demonstrating its knowledge of and implementation of the Code of Practice for the Harvest, Transport, Processing, and Export of Seal Products Intended for Human Consumption.
- The processing establishment can verify that the harvest has been conducted by fishers who have received the "Healthy Seals" training delivered on an industry wide basis during 2010/11.
- The exporter is responsible for verifying that the product for which an export certificate is requested meets the regulatory requirements of Canada and China. This may require final product analysis. (The exporter must contact CFIA to determine if they will be required to conduct final product analysis before a certificate can be issued.)
- The processor attests in writing at the time of requesting export certification that they have adequate knowledge that the product has been harvested and processed upon the vessel under sanitary conditions, that the vessel meets the regulatory requirements of the Fish Inspection Regulations, and that they have knowledge that the incoming raw material has been processed in a manner to render it fit for human consumption.
- Product is available for inspection, if such inspection is deemed necessary by the CFIA.
Please contact your local CFIA inspection office for more information.
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