CHINA SUSPENDS SOME SEAFOOD EXPORTS FROM NEW ZEALAND

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New Zealand is seeking clarification from Chinese authorities after being informed that exports from two of its seafood facilities had been suspended.

Exports from a facility in Sanford that processes mussels and a Sealord Group facility that processes finfish and fishmeal for animal feeds were suspended.

Both facilities were subject to live video audits by Chinese customs in late January but they were advised of the findings and suspensions only on Monday, March 1, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said.

Julie Collins, deputy director of general policy and trade at MPI, says: “This issue does not relate to COVID-19 transmission, but concerns matters raised following an audit of two processing premises.

New Zealand has taken strong measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and does not have community transmission, Ms Collins said. 

She adds: “This includes our strong hygiene measures put in place by food manufacturers and exporters, which adapt to each level of risk according to our COVID-19 Alert level.”

China is New Zealand’s largest trading partner, with annual two-way trade of more than €17.9 billion; around 35% of New Zealand’s seafood is exported to China.

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