China’s Customs agency recently announced that it would suspend imports of some beef products from the United Kingdom and Mongolia, as well as some pork products from Haiti, due to sanitary concerns. All three documents were issued on September 29 and took effect immediately.

According to one announcement (link in Chinese), the General Administration of Customs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs noted that the United Kingdom recently reported one case of mad cow disease. “In order to prevent the spread of mad cow disease and protect the production safety of our country's animal husbandry and people’s health,” the announcement stated, “the import of deboned beef under 30 months of age from the United Kingdom is banned starting from the date of this announcement.”

In another announcement (link in Chinese), the two agencies noted that “the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reported bovine nodular skin diseases discovered in three farms in the Eastern Province of Mongolia (Dornod) between August 21 and August 27. This is the first outbreak of bovine nodular skin diseases in Mongolia." As a result, the agencies announced the following measures:

1. It is forbidden to import cattle and related products (unprocessed or processed products from cattle that may still transmit diseases), directly or indirectly from Mongolia.

2. It is forbidden to mail deliver or carry over cattle and related products from Mongolia into the country. Once found, they will be returned or destroyed.

3. If cattle and related products from Mongolia are found on inbound ships, aircrafts, road vehicles, railway trains and other means of transport, they shall be sealed and not allowed to unseal without customs permission while the vehicles are staying or operating within China. Any related waste and swill shall be processed under the supervision of the customs, and shall not be discarded without authorization. If bovine nodular skin disease is found on transportation vehicles, the contaminated or possibly contaminated area shall be disinfected in accordance with the law.

4. The illegal entry of cattle and related products from Mongolia shall be destroyed under the supervision of the customs agency.

Any violation of the rules will be punished under the relevant laws and regulations, according to the announcement.

Similar measures have been adopted for pork, wild boars, and related products from Haiti, according to a third announcement (link in Chinese). The two agencies noted that on August 26, Haiti reported an outbreak of African swine fever in the Southeastern Province (Sud-Est) of the country to the OIE, involving a total of 2500 pigs. As a result, the agencies suspended the imports of “pigs, wild boars and related products directly or indirectly from Haiti.” Any illegal imports will be returned or destroyed, and precautionary measures will be taken for vehicles that transport the products. Any violations will be punished.