“Customs are suspending the acceptance of the Australian Queensland Protocols and the barley declarations from Emerald Grain Australia for shipments after October 31, 2020,” the statement said.
Timber importer Wu Jun of Shanghai Guangyou Wood in Taichang said the exporters would be responsible for fumigating the wood to eradicate the pests.
“When insects are discovered in multiple batches, they import wood into ports in different cities, such as [customs] Warning is given, “he said.
The Australian government and its counterparts in China have protested against other exports that the authorities are targeting without explanation.
Agriculture Secretary David Littleproud said Monday the government had serious concerns that the lobsters could be used for increased customs clearance, as authorities said they would need to test them for metal content.
“They’re effectively saying that they want to test up to 50 percent of the lobsters that are heavy metals,” he said. “Now we are clearly denying that there is already provision in Australia for testing to ensure that the product we send is of the highest class in the world.”
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said Monday that the Chinese authorities and Australian industry had “done a good deal of cooperation” to solve the lobster impasse. However, he urged Australian exporters to diversify their trading networks in order to minimize market risk.
“In a broader sense, there have been a number of disruptions in Australia’s trade with China this year,” he said. “They have been well captured and well documented, and the risk factor seems to have changed due to some unpredictable administrative decisions made at the Chinese end.”
At the Beijing Jingshen Seafood Market on Monday, a fish shop owner said Australian lobsters are currently not selling well despite their superior quality. He said the price had increased 40 percent in the past two months due to transportation difficulties.
“We have never heard of Boston lobsters or king crabs from Canada that have been subjected to such a delay,” said the shopkeeper, who asked not to be identified because trade tensions are politically sensitive.
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Eryk Bagshaw is the China correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He currently resides in Canberra due to travel restrictions.
Benjamin is the regional editor for The Age. Previously, he was a reporter for State Rounds and has also covered education for The Age.
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