Nov 17th, 2021
9 mins

Defra have issued several important updates from the Chinese customs authority (GACC) regarding fish exports to China. Please see below. Should you have any questions, we would suggest you send them directly to to ensure you receive the very latest information.



We have been informed that due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in Dalian (which China believes has been transmitted via cold- chain product imports), no further exports will be permitted to enter Dalian for the foreseeable future. As a result, their cold stores have been closed. Therefore, please avoid exporting to Dalian at present.



As you are aware, new applications to export to China may result in an inspection request from GACC.

We have recently received information from GACC indicating that two or three sites currently awaiting approval to export to China are likely to be inspected before 1st Jan 2022. This does not include sites currently awaiting relisting audits following COVID-19 outbreaks. We will be in touch directly with any exporters selected by GACC for inspection once they have been identified.

Those subject to virtual inspections should expect it to cover both food hygiene and COVID-19 protocols.



Type: GACC have advised us of an amendment to the way in which the ‘type’ field is submitted:

  • Previously, the optionswere: PP-Processing Plant; FV-Fishing Vessel; Transporting Vessel; FFV- Fishing and Factory Vessel; and CS-Cold Store. If your establishment was registered as both a PP and a CS, this would have been listed as ‘PP & CS’ on the spreadsheet.
  • In future,only one type will be permitted by GACC to be listed. Therefore, if your establishment has both a PP and a CS, this will be listed as just ‘PP’ in future.
  • We have been assured thatyou will still be able to export as a CS providing it shares the same approval number with your PP, it is simply a change in how this information is presented. We have already shared the amended list with GACC for current exporters so please do not be alarmed if you notice a change in type to just ‘PP’.

Processing methods: GACC have also notified us of a minor adjustment to the list of processing methods:

  • Cannedand bottled will now be listed as ‘cooked’.
  • Refining oilwill now be listed as ‘fish oil / shrimp oil’
  • Once again, we have already shared an amendment of the current exporter list with GACC, so you may notice this adjustment in due course.



As you will be aware, Decree 248 will be implemented from 1st January 2022. We are in close contact with the British Embassy in Beijing, and have been advised of the following guidance, but please note that this information may be subject to change as we continue to receive clarification and updates from GACC.



We would like to draw your attention to Article 19, Decree 248:

In cases of changing production site, legal representative, or registration number in the country/region where the manufacturer is located, the overseas (i.e. UK) manufacturer shall re-apply for registration, and the original Chinese registration number will automatically become invalid. 

If the actual owner of the business remains the same, but the management of the production site (factory) of the enterprise is changed, the registered enterprise can apply for information change first, and the GACC will evaluate the corresponding change to see if it has an actual impact on the enterprises food safety and hygiene management and control and decide whether to approve the change. 

If it is assessed that the relevant changes and adjustments may affect the food safety and hygiene management and control of foreign enterprises, GACC will require the enterprises to submit a new registration application. 

After the new registration application is approved, the original Chinese registration number and registration will be invalid automatically.

Our understanding is that:

Legal representation means the owner of the site. Therefore, where a site is bought by another company and has a new owner, the site will automatically need to reapply for approval.

Legal representation does not necessarily mean the site manager. However, where an individual site manager changes, the site should apply to GACC for a change in information and GACC will make a decision on the need to reapply for approval.

If reapproval is needed, the GACC registration number will remain valid until the new approval (and subsequent new GACC registration number) is confirmed. We have had no formal request from GACC to register legal representatives at this time.

We will continue to work with the British Embassy in Beijing to gain additional/ ongoing clarity on the situation for both new and existing exporters. Further updates will be communicated as and when they are received.



All currently registered exporters have been granted a one-year licence ‘extension’ by GACC. Therefore, the earliest expiry of any licence will be 31st December 2022. We will have to see how GACC actually implement this system, but companies will have to apply for re-registration between 3 and 6 months prior to the expiry date.

Please be aware that we are still awaiting further comment from GACC on the proposed new fishery product EHC, therefore the existing EHC remains available and signable.





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