China's AQSIQ Pest Risk Analysis
Officials from China's General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection & Quarantine have recently completed their pest risk analysis for the importation of seed potatoes from the UK.
In May 2003 the UK Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) approached China's General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection & Quarantine (AQSIQ) with the first ever request for the importation into China of British seed potatoes. AQSIQ accordingly conducted a risk assessment for importation of British seed potatoes in line with the corresponding International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) and other international standards introduced by the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) of the UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO).
In June 2004, in response to an invitation from the British Potato Council and the China-Britain Business Council, AQSIQ sent a delegation to the UK to look at seed potato production and study the pest control situation at the same time. (See report) The UK met their request for provision of additional relevant information.
The following August, in the light of the delegation's findings, the AQSIQ Standards, Law and Regulation Centre revised the 'Risk Analysis of the Importation of British Seed Potatoes into China' (first draft) and finalised their report. Unfortunately the initial findings of AQSIQ's report have designated the overall risk from importation of British seed potatoes as high (H).
Negotiations are ongoing to have this designation revised.