Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, announced a significant step in Ireland’s seafood exports to China, following a meeting with Chinese Minister Zhi Shuping in Dublin recently.
The Ministers reached agreement to the proposed certificate to accompany consignments of crab exports and the agreement should facilitate the resumption of the crab trade between Ireland and China. China has become an extremely important market for Irish seafood and restoration of this trade is seen as particularly important for Irish seafood exporters ahead of BREXIT.
The Irish authorities (SFPA) and the Chinese authorities (AQSIQ) have reached technical agreement on a methodology designed to resolve the issue of certification of live crab exports to China. This agreement is built around implementation of a national monitoring programme of live crab intended for export to China. The SFPA will implement the monitoring programme and certification will be built upon these criteria.
As heretofore the Chinese authorities will continue to monitor consignments arriving in China and the SFPA will liaise with Irish industry to apprise seafood exporters of specific requirements to recommence live crab trade with China.
Speaking following the meeting on 18 April with Minister Zhi, Minister Creed said: “I would like to thank the Chinese authorities and the SFPA for their work in reaching a conclusion to this difficult issue and welcome the resumption of trade in crab to China in the knowledge that the Irish seafood sector will also be delighted to resume supply of premium crab for the Chinese consumer.”
Notes for Editors -
In 2010, Ireland secured market access in China for live crab through bi-lateral co-operation between Irish authorities and their Chinese counterparts. This access built on previous arrangements for fisheries products and has more recently been part of wider trade missions to expand the access for Irish food and seafood products in China.
There has been a steady increase in exports up to an estimated value of €3 million with a significant number of Irish sea-fishing boats providing product to up to 8 seafood export companies.
As part of efforts to support the trade of compliant safe seafood, a Memorandum of Understanding is in place with the Chinese import authorities which allows for technical dialogue. This MOU allowed for a series of exchanges between the authorities which has brought about the current resolution.