Wednesday, December 6, 2023

U.S. sets new procedure for soybean exports to China

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By Barbara Olejnik

Poultry Times staff

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — The U.S. has developed a new procedure for the export of soybeans to China in order to comply with that country’s phytosanitary import requirements.

The new procedure, which went into effect on Jan. 1 of this year, involves USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service notifying China when a soybean shipment exceeds 1 percent foreign material.

In a news release, USDA said Chinese officials have assured the U.S. that this notification will allow all U.S. soybean exports to China, including those with more than 1 percent foreign material, to continue without interruption until the U.S. is able to fully implement a series of science-based measures, called a systems approach, during the 2018 crop year and reduce the volume of foreign material and weed seeds of quarantine concern in soybean shipments to China.

Jim Sutter, chief executive officer of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) said, “Over the coming months and years, USSEC will work together with partner organizations to promote effective implementation of the systems approach throughout the U.S. soybean supply chain, including ongoing efforts by our organization to promote the development of timely, science-based technologies that U.S. farmers need to produce the best quality product possible. We are confident that this agreement will allow U.S. soybean farmers and exporters to continue to service the important Chinese market without interruption.”

China is the U.S. soybean industry’s top customer, buying more than one of every four rows of soybeans grown in the U.S.

Estimates for the 2017-2018 marketing year predict that the U.S. will have final sales 33 million metric tons of soybeans worth $14 billion to China by the end of August 2018.

In September, Chinese officials notified APHIS of foreign material exceeding Chinese standards as well as weed seeds of quarantine concern in U.S. soybean shipments to that country.

“Working closely with our Chinese counterparts and U.S. soybean industry representatives, our top priority was to establish a new procedure that would address China’s phytosanitary concerns and keep U.S. soybeans moving without delay through China’s ports of entry,” said Greg Ibach USDA undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs.

The systems approach for U.S. soybeans will begin at the farm level, continue through U.S. export terminals, and extend into China’s ports of arrival.

Under the new procedure, APHIS, working with federal, state and university experts, will develop specific recommendations based on weed seed control best practices. The recommendations will include production and harvesting measures designed to reduce weed seed contamination at the farm level.

USDA’s Federal Grain Inspection Service will sample China-bound soybean shipments and analyze foreign material to monitor for weed seeds in U.S. bulk and container shipments.

When FGIS determines that a consignment exceeds 1 percent foreign material, APHIS will include an additional declaration on the phytosanitary certificate that says: “This consignment exceeds 1 percent foreign material.”

This action will allow all U.S. soybean exports to China to continue without interruption until the U.S. is able to fully implement the other parts of the systems approach during the 2018 crop year.

China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) has agreed to expedite agricultural clearance of shipments with 1 percent of less foreign material.

AQSIQ will determine whether any phytosanitary measures including inspection, cleaning treatment or other protective actions may be appropriate to mitigate pest risk in shipments with more than 1 percent foreign material.

USDA and AQSIQ will evaluate the effectiveness of the systems approach in December 2019, with a mid-point assessment in December 2018.

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