China requires papers for GMO cargoes after Mar 20
BEIJING - China\'s Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday genetically modified organism (GMO) cargoes arriving at Chinese ports after March 20 should have certificates regardless of when the contracts were signed.
\"The GMO rules will be implemented from March 20. Quarantine and customs authorities will require safety certificates to settle formalities on cargo arrivals,\" said an official at the ministry\'s GMO products safety administration office.
The official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters the safety certificates were required for cargoes arriving after March 20 to pass quarantine inspections.
She also said the office had started to receive applications for GMO safety certificates.
The ministry\'s comments came after some confusion in the market with traders complaining that it was not clear as to whether Beijing would apply the rules announced last week to contracts signed before March 20 and relevant cargoes arriving after that date.
Last week, a ministry official told Reuters that contracts signed after June 6 last year, when the GMO rules were announced, and before March 20 this year would not be subject to the requirements of the GMO rules which take effect on March 20.
Beijing issued implementation details for the rules last week.
The ministry, in an announcement made in the Farmer\'s Daily, said overseas firms exporting GMO products to China must apply for certificates stating that the goods were harmless to humans, animals, and the environment.
The certificates, to be decided on within 270 days, must be ready before a contract was signed and those imports which did not have safety certificates and relevant papers would be returned or destroyed.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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