- Chinese authorities will require shipping companies arriving from the U.S. to present a "Mosquito Eradication Certificate," in order to prevent the spread of Zika to the country.
- Regulators in China added the U.S. to the Zika affected areas list on Aug. 3, reports USA TODAY. Shipping companies must present the mosquito-free certificate upon arrival in China, or be subjected to on-site inspection and eradication measures, which could include quarantine and fumigation.
- "This will most certainly disrupt the US exporter's ability to deliver goods affordably and on-time to foreign customers in China," writes the Agricultural Transportation Coalition in a web update, adding the costs and methods necessary to comply with the regulation remain unclear.
The U.S. joins a list of over 40 countries, mainly in the Americas, from which the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine requires a Mosquito Eradication Certificate. The Chinese authorities first implemented the requirement in March, but have since updated it as the Zika epidemic spread to the U.S.
"The mosquito eradication certificate should be issued either by local authorities or by third party disinfection companies at Zika affected areas, which should include vessel's details (vessel's name, port of destination, cargo on board, time of loading etc.) and description to the effect that" certifies the vessel was disinfected prior to departure, according to an update by the UK P&I Club, a mutual marine protection indemnity organization.
If the vessel does not have the required certificate, Chinese authorities will inspect the vessel upon entry and, if disinfection is deemed necessary, fumigate it. The process would last roughly four hours, the insurer clarified.
However, the Agriculture Transport Coalition expressed concerns over the regulation's impact on the U.S. export supply chain. The coalition lists 10 issues it is investigating, including what fumigants are acceptable and safe to use with food-grade products. Meanwhile, the Chinese regulator's English-language website could not be accessed at press time.