Custom procedures in China

Directly exporting seafood from China requires three basic registrations with the government: foreign trade registration, customs registration and an export license registration. Any company officially registered to export seafood has a China Foreign Trade Registration Certificate. Additionally, each company should have a China Customs Registration Certificate. Small companies may outsource this to a ‘customs broker’. Finally, an export license is required. The export of 49 commodity categories are specially administered and licensed. Some agriculture commodities are subject to quotas (e.g. wheat, corn rice and cotton). Others are subject to export control (e.g. frozen beef, chicken and pork). Seafood is not included in the 49 listed commodities. The procedure for customs clearing and exports involves three steps. Once the processed seafood products are ready for shipment, CIQ (China Inspection and Quarantine) needs to be advised and samples for laboratory tests need to be submitted. Afterwards the CIQ carries out laboratory analysis and issues a health certificate (HC). Finally once all shipment documents are ready, the goods can be cleared for export.

Export documents

Seafood exports from China need to be accompanied by the following documents:
  • Packing list
  • Commercial invoice
  • Bill of landing
  • Customs export declaration form
  • Certificate of origin
  • Health certificate (HC)
  • Export license if applicable
Exports to the EU As of 2 October 2016 there were 801 EU approved ‘fishery products’ processing plants in China of which 294 processed aquaculture products.