Ministry For Primary Industries Working To Clear Meat To China
New export certificates are being issued to release containers of meat products held up at the Chinese border, the Ministry for Primary Industries said today.
Shipments of meat into China were delayed after MPI issued export certification in a format which had not been approved by Chinese authorities at AQSIQ.
"In close cooperation with AQSIQ, we have now developed a process to fix the problem and are working around the clock to implement it. In the first instance this will involve issuing the correct certification for products that have been held up or are currently on the water. New certificates will start flowing to China today," says MPI's acting director-general Andrew Coleman.
"While the issue here is a technical one, we can fully understand the decision by Chinese authorities to delay the consignments of New Zealand meat."
"Making sure the details are right around export certification is part of MPI's core responsibility. We issue some 7000 meat and seafood export certificates a month, with associated transfer documents numbering about 40,000. It's critically important that New Zealand's exporters and trading partners can be confident that the certification we provide is correct," Mr Coleman said.
"When this issue has been sorted out we will be taking a very hard look at our processes to find out how this happened and make sure it never happens again.
"We will examine why the scale and seriousness of this issue wasn't made clear to Ministers sooner, and the timeliness of our updates. We have apologised to Ministers, and we will be apologising to meat exporters, and the Chinese authorities about the confusion and frustration this issue has caused."