On October 26, China’s General Administration of Customs issued a notice (link in Chinese) setting forth SPS requirements for imports of beef from Italy. The notice takes effect immediately.

The notice sets forth details on SPS requirements for Italian beef in accordance with Chinese law and regulations as well as the Protocol of the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China and the Italian Ministry of Health on Inspection, Quarantine and Veterinary Health Requirements for China to Import Beef from Italy.

According to the notice, covered products are frozen and chilled deboned skeletal muscles of bovine under 30 months of age at the time of slaughter.

The cattle should be born, raised, and slaughtered in Italy, with a unique traceable identification mark. Cattle should come from farms that have no risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as mad cow disease), or have clinical cases of animal diseases that are of concern to both parties within certain period of time, or subject to quarantine monitoring or restrictions due to animal diseases. Cattle should not be a suspicious or confirmed case of BSE or its offspring, or come from the same farm where BSE was detected 12 months before or 12 months afterwards.

The cattle should not be fed with food using veterinary drugs and feed additives that are prohibited in China and Italy, according to the notice.

The notice also sets forth sanitary requirements for slaughtering, meat processing, packaging and shipping of beef products.

Only authorized companies can export beef to China. As of October 26, one Italian company is authorized to sell beef to China.

China banned (link in Chinese) Italian beef in 2001 due to BSE cases. In 2020, China and Italy signed the protocol of the health and safety requirements for Italian beef exports to China.