China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) has confirmed the resumption of aquatic product imports from Pakistan and several other countries, aiming to enrich the supply of domestic aquatic products and boost the stability of the seafood industry and supply chains. In a statement released on May 26, the GAC announced that imports from 20 overseas companies would be allowed.
The GAC statement revealed that the 20 companies resuming exports to China are based in various countries, including Pakistan, Brazil, Malaysia, Spain, New Zealand, and Indonesia.
This move comes after China suspended imports from eight overseas suppliers last year due to non-compliance with safety and hygiene controls, as well as inadequate adherence to COVID-19 control measures set by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
Although industry experts told the Global Times that this recent change would not have a significant impact on overall supply in China, they acknowledged that the rise in seafood imports reflected a growing demand among Chinese consumers.
Cui He, Director of the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance, stated that the increase in imports was driven by China’s expanding consumption patterns and its customers’ preference for quality aquatic products offered by some overseas companies.
According to Geo, China’s seafood imports have been on the rise, primarily sourced from countries such as Russia, Australia, and Argentina, according to Cui. Last year, China experienced a 35 per cent surge in seafood imports, reaching a value of $19.13 billion, as reported by data from the International Trade Centre.
The GAC emphasised its commitment to strengthening the management of imported food safety. While the resumption of imports from Pakistan and other countries is expected to contribute to the diversification of China’s aquatic product supply, the focus on ensuring the safety and quality of imported food remains a priority for Chinese authorities.