US feed companies must provide data to aid exports to China

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/champc
© GettyImages/champc

Related tags: Fda, exports, China, trade agreement

As elements of the phase one trade deal between the US and China are implemented, the US Food and Drug Administration is gathering details about feed companies that wish to export to China.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced​ Friday [March 13] that US companies interested in exporting feed additives, premixes or compound feeds to China need to provide select information to the agency by April 3.

The FDA is set to provide the list of animal feed companies to the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC), the agency said. The intention is that China will allow imports of feed products from the listed companies.

The streamlined registration and licensing process is one of the elements established in the new trade deal, the FDA said. The plan is that China will register the facilities and publish a list of approved exporters on the GACC website within 20 working days of receiving the information.

The industry has been calling for the change in practice, said Leah Wilkinson, vice president of public policy and education, the American Feed Industry Association.

“This will help clear the way for US animal food manufacturers to continue providing high-quality products to this burgeoning marketplace, which helps farmers and ranchers sustain the food supply and creates new food options for pet owners,”​ she added.

“Since 2011, new US animal feed additives, premixes and compound feed facilities have been stuck in China’s bureaucratic red tape, unable to export their products that could improve the nutrition and well-being of the Asian country’s livestock, poultry and pets,” ​she told us. “Having the FDA move forward with the process for these facilities to register in China is a huge step toward implementing the commitments to the phase one trade agreement.”

China is the fifth-largest export market for US animal feed producers and had a value of about $671m in 2019, she said. 

“Under the phase one trade agreement, not only will these manufacturers realize new market opportunities, but for the first time, feed additive, premix and compound feed facilities will be able to register and export their products.”

“We are elated to see China open up these new trade opportunities for American animal food manufacturers, which has been a priority for the association for nearly a decade, and will continue to work with the US Food and Drug Administration to ensure our facilities are registered and ready for export,”​ she added.

Registration process, opening the export market

The process for companies to register a facility with the GACC no longer requires an on-site audit or inspection before products can be approved for import, according to trade deal information​. The system does not mandate an export protocol and China is set to check that its requirements are in accordance with “international standards and guidelines.” ​  

The revamped process is open to any US company interested in exporting feed additives, premixes or compound feeds to China, an FDA spokesperson said. The company does not need to have exported products to China previously.

Companies interested in taking part need to reach out to the FDA and provide the “name(s) and address(es) of their registered facility/facilities, as well as permission for FDA to share that data with China’s GACC,”​ she said. The information provided has to be confirmed with current registration information already on file.

The FDA is directing producers seeking to export dried distillers grains or dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) to China to contact the US Department of Agriculture’s export verification program at EV.Export@usda.gov.

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