Source: Council of Agriculture
The five-year efforts based on the agreement of “Cross-Strait Joint Quarantine Inspection of Agri-Products” signed in 2009, aimed at promoting cross-strait agri-products trade, presented some positive outcomes in the 11th Workshop of the 8th Conference of “Cross-Strait Agri-products Quarantine and Inspection” held in Taiwan on June 8 and 9 in 2015.
For the specific 18 issues of both parties’ concerns regarding agri-products quarantine inspections, the concrete results have been achieved, including grapes, fresh mushrooms, pet foods from Taiwan which are exported to China, fast line customs clearance for fruits from Taiwan, simplified quarantine inspection process of ornamental aquatic lives, and collaborative exchanges of technical trainings on quarantine dogs.
On the one hand, China announced the accomplishment of risk evaluation of Taiwanese grapes, and the product became the 24th item of fruit trade approval from Taiwan to China. Thus, the current season of grapes harvested in Taiwan will immediately be applied and allowed to be exported to China. On the other hand, COA also pre-noticed the “Cherries from China and the Quarantine and Inspection Condition” and this will soon be officially announced. In addition to the cherries from China which are limited to the origin from Shangdong Province, cherries from Shanxi Province will soon be allowed to be imported to Taiwan for varieties of origins.
COA further explained that China would soon be updating Taiwan regarding the status of importing pets (dogs and cats) from Taiwan. If the agreement is well researched, pets will soon be permitted to be imported from Taiwan. In addition, the agreement also applies to technical training and cooperation of quarantine dogs. On the other hand, COA made efforts to avoid 30-day isolation quarantine applied to ornamental aquatic animals that are entering China. The efforts facilitate risk evaluation process upon Taiwan’s application, so that China will soon assign a field-visiting team to Taiwan. Hopefully, the process and efforts will smoothen the trade of ornamental aquatic animals between Taiwan and China.
The cross-strait trade reached US$1.96 billion in 2014, with a growth of 114% from the pre-agreement period amount of US$0.91 billion. Such growth has been benefited from exchange liberalization of different ideological political regimes among China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong since 2008, with an extra benefit of the agreement based on ECFA early bird tariff-reduction lists and the agreement of “Cross-Strait Agri-product Quarantine and Inspection”.
The solid implementation of the agreement truly generated fast growth of cross-strait agri-product trade. Throughout the implementation of the agreement, Taiwan and China can timely resolve the problems regarding trade customs, quarantine inspection technical standard by exchanging information. Then the impressive outcomes of market entry to China for Taiwanese rice, fresh pears, and poultry products, as well as entry to Taiwan for Shandong cherries and pear spikes from China can now be seen.
COA stressed that the agreement, in fact, can be regarded as a gatekeeper to the agri-products quality both in China and in Taiwan, which could be helpful to the general food safety problems. Therefore, the related authorities in Taiwan and China should further deepen the collaborative mechanism based on the Agreement for fast and convenient customs under the standard operation procedure of protecting food safety across the Strait.
Date submitted: July 13, 2015
Reviewed, edited and uploaded: July 13, 2015