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Aquatic products

Refers to aquatic animal and plant products and their products for human consumption, including jellyfish, mollusks, crustaceans, echinoderms, head cords, fish, amphibians, reptiles, aquatic mammals and other aquatic animal products and their products , and marine plant products such as algae and their products, excluding live aquatic animals and aquatic animal and plant reproduction materials.

Due to the different water environment in the world, the main aquatic products are different, and different countries have their own production and operation supervision systems. The enterprises from the country of origin (regions) on the list which confirmed the inspection and quarantine certificate of aquatic products exported to China with the General Administration of Customs of China can register according to the access procedures stipulated by GACC. If the country of origin is not on the list, GACC must first conduct a conformity assessment on the official supervision system of the country of origin.

GACC registration conditions for overseas manufacturers of imported foods are as follows: 

1. The food safety management system of the country/region where the manufacturer is located has passed GACC's equivalence assessment and/or review; 

2. The manufacturer was established with approval by the competent authority of the country/region, and the manufacturer is under effective regulation by the competent authority; 

3. The manufacturer has an established, effective food safety and sanitation management system and protection system, legally produces and exports food in the country/region, and ensures that foods exported to China comply with relevant Chinese laws, regulations, and national food safety standards; 

4. Food exporting to China conforms with relevant inspection and quarantine requirements that have been agreed upon after discussion by the GACC and the competent authorities of the country/region.

The General Administration of Chinese Customs, overseas official regulatory agencies and production enterprises will jointly promote:

  • 01

    Confirm the HS code and the applicable access method.

  • 02

    Obtain the account and password officially granted by the supervisor or account re-authentication.

  • 03

    Preparing documents in strict accordance with the registration conditions and the key points for overseas production enterprises of imported food and conduct self-assessment, and fill in the registration application form.

  • 04

    Submit an electronic application, fill in the enterprise elements and upload relevant materials as required; if necessary, include but not limited to floor plan of factory and workshop, process flow chart, etc.

  • 05

    The competent authority reviews the summary and forwards the electronic application with other support materials required by GACC.

  • 06

    The GACC office will review whether the materials are complete and in compliance with the legal form, and decide whether to accept it or issue a correction notice to the competent authority.

  • 07

    The expert group evaluates and reviews, including a combination of document review and on-site review or other reasonable review methods, and forms a review report.

  • 08

    Review by the General Administration of Chinese Customs whether it meets the statutory requirements and standards.

  • 09

    GACC approve or disapprove the registration, and feedback the information to the competent authority and Enterprise (enterprise applicants can receive the registration feedback in Cifer system).

  • 10

    The enterprises approved for registration, China Customs will publish them online in due course.

1. Assist in product classification, determine the corresponding registration method and the best implementation plan; confirm the applicable official competent authority approval number, enterprise type, precise customs code and inspection and quarantine code details.

2. Assist enterprises to obtain account numbers and passwords.
3. Assist the enterprise to check the registration elements according to the "Conditions and Compliance Checklist of Imported Aquatic", complete the self-assessment, and provide continuous improvement plans based on the assessment results, so as to meet the key points of registration conditions and the standard of China's national food production and products. Assist in sorting, screening, editing, and translating the required materials, so that the application materials meet the integrity, authenticity and validity.
4. Assist in filling out the "Application Form of Imported Aquatic Products for Overseas Manufacturer", submit an electronic application and upload relevant supporting materials.
5. Follow up the application submitted by the competent authority, the basic status report on animal and plant epidemics, veterinary hygiene, public health, plant protection, pesticide and veterinary drug residues related to the exporting country (region), the registration management of food production enterprises and the requirements of enterprise hygiene standards, etc. The laws, regulations and standards of the exporting country (region), the organization and personnel of the competent authority of the exporting country (region), the quarantine of the exporting country (region) competent authority of its recommended enterprises, the assessment answer sheet of the actual situation of sanitation control, the exporting country (regional) competent authority's assessment of the actual situation. A statement that the companies that are recommends comply with Chinese laws and regulations.

6. Materials correction, when the written materials do not meet the registration requirements, assist the enterprise to complete the interpretation, sorting, screening, editing, translation, calibration and other standards and laws and regulations of the required materials within the specified time.

7. Acceptance by Chinese Customs and follow-up and communication of technical review by expert group, preparation and coordination before on-site review or video review.

8. Assist in successful access and follow up on the use of registration data for customs clearance, and respond immediately if there are any problems.

9. According to the change of the enterprise, assist the change application.
10. According to the new decree, assist enterprises to apply for extension. "Registration Application for Extension for Overseas Manufacturers of Imported Aquatic Products"
11. Other enterprise access and follow-up related support.

The Chinese national standards and regulations that is required to comply with include but are not limited to:

Regulatory Measures:

1. China implements access permission for imported aquatic products. Only those products whose varieties (subject to Latin), countries or regions of origin, storage forms and other contents are consistent with the "Catalogue of Foods Exported to China from Countries or Regions that Meet the Requirements of Assessment and Examination and Have Traditional Trade" can be exported to China;

2. Overseas manufacturing enterprises shall register with China Customs and obtain registration number in China;

3. Chinese importers shall apply for the Quarantine Permit for Imported Animals and Plants;

4. Inspection and quarantine of imported meat shall be carried out at designated supervision sites;

5. Overseas exporters/agents shall be put on record and obtain the record number;

6. Chinese importers shall record the consignees and obtain the record number;


Solutions for meeting the requirements of Regulatory Measures:

1. China implements access permission for imported aquatic products;

Solution: Firstly, accept the application. The intended exporting country (region) shall submit a formal application to the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) in writing for exporting aquatic products to China. The GACC shall, in accordance with the general principles stipulated in the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization (WTO), decide whether to initiate the access procedures according to the epidemic situation of aquatic animals and the status of food safety in the exporting country (region). If activated, a risk assessment questionnaire for relevant aquatic products will be submitted to the intended exporting country (region). Secondly, organize an assessment. The GACC shall organize an expert team to conduct risk assessment on the answer sheets and related technical data provided by the official government of the intendeded exporting country (region) and form an assessment report. In the process of assessment, if necessary, with the consent of the intended exporting country (region), experts can be assigned there to conduct field visits or verification visits to confirm the authenticity and consistency of relevant information and operations. Thirdly, consultation on inspection and quarantine requirements. Based on the assessment results, the two sides shall negotiate on the inspection, quarantine and health requirements for aquatic products exported to China, determine the inspection and quarantine requirements after reaching an agreement (including the inspection and quarantine protocol, memorandum or announcement of the inspection and quarantine requirements), and confirm the content and format of veterinary health certificates for products exported to China.

2. Overseas manufacturing enterprises shall register with China Customs and obtain registration number for exporting to China;

Solution: Only after confirming the varieties (in Latin), country or region, storage form and other contents of the aquatic products are consistent with the stipulations in the "Catalogue of Foods Exported to China from Countries or Regions that Meet the Requirements of Assessment and Examination and Have Traditional Trade", can an overseas production enterprise apply through the CIFER registration system of the GACC, and the applicant enterprise shall meet the standards and requirements stipulated in the Compliance Checklist for Registration of Overseas Manufacturers of Imported Aquatic Products; After the GACC receives the application, the expert panel shall evaluate and examine the applicant through written inspection, video inspection, on-site inspection and other forms of inspection or any combination of the above, and register the overseas manufacturers of imported food that meet the requirements and give them the registration number in China.

3. Chinese importers shall apply for the Quarantine Permit for Imported Animals and Plants;

Solution: Importers can log in the "Internet + Customs" integrated online service platform (platform address: http://online.customs.gov.cn) to handle the formalities.

4. Inspection and quarantine of imported meat shall be carried out at designated supervision sites;

Solution: Check the List of Designated Supervision Sites for Imported Chilled Aquatic Products through the official website of the GACC.

5. Overseas exporters/agents shall be put on record and obtain the record number;

Solution: Submit the application through "Internet + Customs" - "Record System for Importers and Exporters of Imported Food".

6. Chinese importers shall record the consignees and obtain the record number;

Solution: Submit the application through "Internet + Customs" - "Record System for Importers and Exporters of Imported Food".


Information required for Customs declaration:

1. Certificate of Origin

2. Inspection and quarantine certificate (Veterinary health certificate) issued by the competent authority of the exporting country

3. Quarantine Permit for Imported Animals and Plants

4. Contract

5. Invoice

6. Packing List

7. Bill of Lading

8. Chinese label or label in both Chinese and English

9. Quality assurance certificate (only need to state the holding of relevant materials for declaration)

10. Certificate of qualified detection of radioactive substances (only applicable to aquatic products from Japan)

11. Other supporting information or test reports

(Note: It is possible that different ports have different requirements on declaration data, which is regarded as normal)


Solutions for attaining the information required for Customs declaration (part of information):

1. Inspection and quarantine certificate (Veterinary health certificate) issued by the competent authority of the exporting country

Solution: The inspection and quarantine veterinary (health) certificate shall be signed and issued by a signatory officer registered with China authority according to the bilateral agreement entered into by and between the exporting country and China, the inspection and quarantine protocol, the sample certificate of inspection and quarantine as specified in the memorandum or the announcement, the official seal of the issuing authority. After the goods are loaded into the container, they shall be sealed under the supervision of the official veterinarian of the exporting country before transport, and the seal number shall be indicated in the veterinary health certificate. Do not open and change the package during transportation.

2. Chinese label or label in both Chinese and English

Solution: For imported aquatic products, the internal and external packaging shall have firm, clear, easily recognizable labels in Chinese and English or in Chinese and the language of the exporting country (region), indicating the following: Commodity name and scientific name, specifications, production date, batch number, warranty period and storage conditions, production method (seawater fishing, freshwater fishing, aquaculture), production area (Marine fishing waters, freshwater fishing country or region, the country or region where the aquaculture product is located), the names of all production and processing companies involved (including fishing vessels, processing vessels, transport vessels, independent cold storage), and registration number and address (down to the state/province/city), and it must be indicated that the destination is the People's Republic of China. For prepackaged aquatic products exported to China, the Chinese labels of the prepackages shall conform to the label requirements for prepackaged food exported to China. Labels do not meet the requirements can be rectified and printed quickly, and can be affixed at the designated supervision place of the port of receipt before Customs clearance.


Conformity Assessment by Customs

Imported aquatic products pass the inspection and quarantine in accordance with the conformity assessment procedures can be sold and consumed only after the issuance of Inspection and Quarantine Certificate for Entry Goods by the Customs.

For imported aquatic products fail to pass the inspection and quarantine according to the conformity assessment procedures, the Customs shall issue a certificate of nonconformity. Where safety, health and environmental protection items are unqualified, the Customs shall order the parties involved to destroy the goods, or issue a notice for the handling of the return of goods, and the importer shall handle the formalities for the return of goods. Other items that fail to pass the standard may be dealt with technically under the supervision of the Customs, and the goods may not be sold or consumed until they pass the re-inspection.

The imported aquatic products with the following HS codes are controlled by Decree No.248:

GACC HS code for imported aquatic products (Download)

1. What are the common mistakes in registration?

(1) The product was classified incorrectly, and the wrong access method and procedure were applied.
(2) Failure to strictly follow the "Conditions and Compliance Checklist of Imported Aquatic" to inspect the elements of the enterprise and conduct feasibility assessments.

(3) Electronic application "Application Form of Imported Aquatic Products for Overseas Manufacturer" has not been submitted.

(4) Registration application materials or attachments submitted are not in English or Chinese.

(5) The file format is incorrect and cannot be opened.

(6) There is a vacancy in the application materials where the signature and seal of the competent authority is required.

(7) The necessary parts of the application form are incomplete.

(8) The attachments of the application form are incomplete or do not correspond to the description of the content of the application form, which cannot prove the validity of the content of the application form.

(9) There are descriptions in the application form and attached materials that are obviously inconsistent with Chinese regulations.

(10) The information of the exported products cannot be accurately listed in the application, so that the customs clearance failure and needs to be urgently added. (Overseas manufacturers generally register according to the actual product strictly corresponding to the HS CODE, but Chinese brokers or freight agencies generally classify HS CODE according to the most preferential tax rate or the lowest supervision conditions or the simplest operation methods. There are cases that different ports and different freight agencies use different HS CODE for the same foods. There is a possibility of different classification, and our agency have to deal with many emergencies caused by the reasonable but misplaced demands of different market entities.)

(11) The application materials provided are contradictory.

(12) The country/origin where the overseas producers is located export firstly some foods has not yet conducted conformity equivalent assessment of the GACC official regulatory system.

2. An example of GACC does not approve review feedback?

3. How to renew the GACC registration after the previous CNCA access of the overseas manufacturer of imported aquatic products expires? 

Answer: GACC has carried out data transfer, and the original data remains unchanged; after the expiration, enterprises must follow the regulations of the General Administration of Customs No. 248 and 249, follow the prescribed materials, prescribed procedures, and submit the extension by overseas CA institutions and conduct technical review and/or Or on-site assessment, according to the new checkpoints, the registration will be renewed, and the original registration number will remain unchanged.


4. Which exporting countries(regions) that have confirmed with the General Administration of Customs the certificate for the inspection and quarantine of aquatic products exported to China?

Asia (23): Pakistan, North Korea, Philippines, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, India, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia;

Europe (26): Ireland, Estonia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Iceland, Denmark, Russia, France, Faroe Islands, Finland, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Croatia, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Greece, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Slovenia;

Americas (17): Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guyana, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Suriname, Uruguay, Chile, Panama, Greenland, Venezuela, Jamaica;

Africa (14): Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, Mauritania, Senegal, Seychelles, Tanzania, Egypt, Somalia;

Oceania (8): Australia, Fiji, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea.

5. After inquiring into "catalogues of food exported to China from countries or regions that meet the assessment and examination requirements and conduct traditional trade with China", the varieties of aquatic products that our company operates are not in the list of origin countries, can our company directly start the enterprise registration process?

Answer: No, according to "General Administration of Customs of China Decree 249 Announcing the Administrative Measures on Import and Export Food Safety", GACC first evaluates the food safety management system and food safety status of the aquatic products from the country of origin, and based on the evaluation and review results, the corresponding inspection and quarantine requirements are determined, then enterprises can register according to the prescribed procedures.

6. Do exporters or shippers need to record?
A: Yes, the exporter of the trade contract or shipper of BL has to do ire (Original AQSIQ) record. After recording will get an 11-digit record number, the record does not issue certificate nor validity limit. It should be noted that this record is very easy, we are obliged to help applicant record free of charge. Watch out for fraudulent websites.
(In China's administrative reform, AQSIQ no longer exist)

Product technical compliance is mainly based on national food safety standards for fresh and frozen animal aquatic products, dried sea cucumbers, algae and their products,etc; among them, physical and chemical indicators, pollutant limits, shellfish toxin limits, pesticide residue limits, veterinary drug residue limits, food additives , microbial limits, etc. must meet the requirements.

Labeling compliance is mainly scattered in the corresponding national food safety standards, the general rules for labeling of prepackaged foods, GACC Decree 249 Announcing "the Administrative Measures on Import and Export Food Safety") and other regulations,and the protocol on inspection and quarantine of aquatic products and veterinary hygiene requirements signed between China and the country of origin.

The Chinese national standards and regulations for imported aquatic products are required to comply with include but are not limited to:

National food safety standard -- Fresh and frozen marine products of animal origin GB 2733-2015

National Food Safety Standard Aquatic Products of Animal Origin GB 10136-2015
National food safety standard -- Aquatic flavouring GB 10133-2014
National food safety standard Hygienic standard for marine algae and algae products GB 19643-2016
National food safety standard -- Dried sea cucumber GB 31602-2015

National Standard for Food Safety Food Additive Use Standard GB 2760-2014

National Food Safety Standard Limitation of Mycotoxins in Food GB 2761-2017

National Food Safety Standard Limits of Contaminants in Food GB 2762-2017

National Food Safety Standard Maximum Residue Limits of Pesticides in Food GB 2763-2021

National Food Safety Standard for Limiting Concentration of Radioactive Substances in Food GB 14882-1994

National Food Safety Standard Limits of Pathogenic Bacteria in Food GB 29921-2013
(If you need to obtain the English version of the above regulations or technical standards, or the official language version of your country, feel free to contact us)

Import process:
Enterprises and products must meet the following conditions:

1. The country of origin on the "List of exporting countries (regions) that have confirmed the inspection and quarantine certificates of aquatic products exported to China with the General Administration of Customs"

2. Overseas production enterprises and aquatic products categories on the GACC published "Overseas production enterprises registered list of imported aquatic products".

3. "catalogues of food exported to China from countries or regions that meet the assessment and examination requirements and conduct traditional trade with China"

4. The overseas exporter has completed the record filing in the China Customs ire system (refer to the Shipper in the bill of lading)

5. The domestic importer has completed the record filing in the China Customs ire system (refer to the Consignee in the bill of lading,the Notify Party not included)

Other restricted common regulations include but are not limited to the following:
"the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora"(CITES)
"List of key protected wild animals in China" and live aquatic animals and aquatic animal and plant propagation material
"List of Animals and their Products prohibited Importing from Animal disease-endemic countries"
"Announcement on banning the import of some Japanese food and agricultural products"
"China WTO/TBT-SPS Risk Warning and Notification"

Customs procedures:

1. Certificate of Origin
2. The inspection and quarantine certificate officially issued by the exporting country or region in the format confirmed by the General Administration of Customs
3. Chinese and English labels
4. Packing list
5. Contract
6. Invoice
7. Bill of lading
8. CITES CERTIFICATE(for endangered frozen seafood )
9. Domestic importers provide: Entry Animal and Plant Inspection and Quarantine License (application for amphibians, reptiles, aquatic mammal products, cultured aquatic products and aquatic products from Japan before signing the trade contract for exporting aquatic products to China)

Customs declaration process:

1. The goods arrive at the port for a change order. Exchange relevant documents from the cargo carrier;

2. Inspection. First issue customs clearance certificate, then customs declaration, then inspection and quarantine;

3. Electronic filing. Enter customs declaration electronic declaration data;

4. On-site orders. Submit the paper documents to the on-site personnel of the customs;

5. Review price. The customs has a database of imported commodity prices. If the declared price is lower than that recorded in the database, the system will prompt that the customs may review the price and negotiate the price.

6. Pay taxes. Pay customs duties, value-added tax, consumption tax through banks;

7. Check and release. The customs can release it directly, or it can release it after checking the conformity. If the inspection does not match, it can be divided into three ways: changing the bill, changing the bill and paying tax, and handling the case according to the situation;

8. Pick up the goods. After paying the port miscellaneous fees, you can pick up the goods;

9. Inspection and Quarantine

(1) Check whether the goods are consistent with the declaration, whether the goods contain quarantine pests prohibited by China, whether the packaging is consistent with the declaration, etc.; if there is a wooden packaging, whether there is an IPPC mark. If the wooden packaging is not marked or the marking is unclear, the packaging needs to be sanitized. If passed, issue an inspection and release note;

(2) The inspectors will sample and test the different specifications of the goods according to the relevant requirements, and send them to the laboratory for inspection and quarantine;

10. Exit the checkpoint. With the customs release slip, quarantine release slip and cargo delivery slip, the goods will be delivered to the designated warehouse through the checkpoint.

Note: "Authorized Economic Operator" refer to AEO certified enterprises. According to the AEO Mutual Recognition Arrangement agreement between China and the country of origin, the corresponding level of customs clearance facilitation and preferential measures shall be matched.

The remedy here is a self-definition or appellation of the institution for the following business conditions, and does not mean that the official expression and is not related to any other third-party and economic remedy.

GACC Access Remedy

According to GACC Decree No. 248 from January 1 2022, overseas manufacturers of imported food will be admitted in accordance with new policies, regulations and procedures. We provide all-round consultation and analysis. After adjustment and verification, the enterprises meet China's food production safety and hygiene standards, product pesticide and veterinary drug residues and other laws and regulations, but also according to the country (region) and product, free assistance to check the conformity assessment and give non-binding and pragmatic market access feasibility suggestions for reference.

Agent Remedy

The original agent caused unacceptable losses due to lack of technical level and experience; the original agent voluntarily canceled the entrustment or lost contact, resulting in application interruption and economic losses. According to the specific situation, we can continue to register and application service or give free reference suggestions.

Data remedy

In October 2021, GACC arranged to open a "green channel" for registration of 18 categories of food for one month. Some overseas competent authorities submitted incomplete or confusing enterprise elements, such as the address of the enterprise, the country name as the business license number, and the type of product as Names of people, etc., so that the corresponding overseas producers are still unable to use valid GACC codes to assist in customs declaration. Our agency has reasonably relieved many cases.

Remedy for overseas competent authority's administrative account

Due to the different organizational structure and supervision system of each country, some countries cannot effectively transmit the new GACC regulations and practical guidelines, some are completely unaware of the new GACC regulations, and some have heard of them but they do not know how to obtain the management account granted by GACC and which ones in their own countries. The institution should obtain a management account and conduct classified management; for this reason, our institution will participate in the assistance of embassy personnel when necessary through email, telephone, video conference, etc., fully publicize and implement the essentials of the laws and regulations, understand and discuss the country's governance and supervision system, and successfully implement remedy for multiple cases. Provide in-depth explanations on the use of training and operation guidelines for the management terminal of overseas competent authorities, so that they can fully understand the positive significance of the human-friendly architecture GACC Cifer system as a supporting measure for GACC Decree No.248. more+

Consultant appointment

Our team is well established, familiar with the evolution of all regulations, rich in technical reserves, smooth in multilingual communication, convenient in handling affairs, mastering key compliance points, and understanding trade customs clearance and quarantine matters. The consultant appointment is not an open service and adopts an invitation system. After evaluation and analysis, those who meet the conditions will be invited by our institution. more+

Training and translation

When you are not familiar with or knows nothing about China's regulatory system, food safety laws and regulations and access procedures, we can provide paid training and translation services to enterprises, so that enterprises can fully understand China's regulatory system, laws and regulations, and can complete the work independently. Enterprise access registration and product labeling compliance work, or become the annual partner of regulatory consulting and product compliance. more+

Customs Clearance reject and early warning remedy

Misjudgment caused by enterprise qualification problems, product technology non-compliance, label non-compliance or self-perceived compliance or misclassification in the process of food trade. Sanctions such as return request of shipments, suspension of imports, and revocation of qualifications caused by triggering risk warnings. We can try to assist producer and companies in product compliance, corporate rectification, training, re-certification, re-communication and other measures to promote the process of removing sanctions.

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