Export of Scottish Seed Potatoes to China
Report of SEERAD/SASA visit to Beijing
Face-to-face discussions held with officials from The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of the Peoples Republic of China with a view to achieving the lifting of the ban on the importation to China of UK seed potatoes.
Following a protracted period of correspondence with AQSIQ, via Defra and the British Embassy in Beijing, arrangements were concluded for SEERAD/SASA officials to travel to China in an attempt to resolve in face to face meetings outstanding issues preventing the export of Scottish seed potatoes to China.
AQSIQ signalled its desire for progress on the matter of seed potato exports from the UK, by preparing at very short notice a draft protocol on mini tuber production for discussion at the meeting and by extending the discussion on field-grown seed potatoes well into the evening. It demonstrated a willingness at all times to find pragmatic solutions to difficulties, rather than stand firm on previous positions e.g. by agreeing to equivalent measures to pest-free area status. As such, the outcome was much better than the visiting team had hoped for, with the result that there is a very real prospect that the protocol on mini tubers might be signed when Premier Wen visits the UK on 13 September 2006. Better still, there is a belief that an agreement on field-grown seed potatoes might follow soon afterwards, as there remains only 3 relatively minor issues that require resolution.
Download full SEERAD_SASA China report (pdf 51Kb)