SEAFOODNEWS.COM [FishFirst] translated by Amy Zhong – September 28, 2017

Guangzhou Baiyun airport has installed an inspection and quarantine system for trans-border e-commerce of fresh food; it has been in operation for two years. It has imported 61,400 batches of fresh food worth US $870.75 million through this channel so far.

The import of high-quality fresh food has skyrocketed this year. For example, that of lobsters has grown by 340 percent from the previous one, while that of abalones has jumped by 50 percent.

More and more foreign seafood has flooded into the Chinese market and satisfied the demand of consumers here. But one great challenge for imports is the efficiency of transportation. For example, the survival rate of Boston lobsters drops greatly if their delivery time exceeds 48 hours. And the inspection locations used to be scattered and far away from each other in the Airport, while the facilities also lagged behind those for cold chain logistics. This not only took a toll on inspection efficiency but also the qualities of fresh food.

Since the establishment of this new system, the airport is able to finish all clearance procedures including sampling and testing in one location at one time. This improves airport services as well as ensures the safety of imported fresh food. For example, it only takes about 10 minutes to inspect and sample aquatic products now. On the early morning of Sept. 7, the airport received 195 cartons of American lobsters with a total weight of 2,630 kg. It took only a few hours for these lobsters to finish inspection and clearance procedures and then enter local markets.

The government has invested 18 million yuan (~$2.7 million US) building testing laboratories for seafood products in the inspection area of the airport. More than 300 imported aquatic products are tested. But the testing period has contracted from the previous five working days to three working days. The airport has also built a credit system of import companies. As the statistics show, there is drmatic increase in the airport’s sampling number and those of commodities that fail testing. They grew by 50% and 32% respectively. There have been 76 batches of aquatic products that were found to contain prohibited ingredients like furacilinum within the first half of 2017.

Guangzhou airport’s import of fresh food accounts for about 25 percent of China’s total import. Guangzhou buys more than 100 kinds of such food from 34 different countries and regions. Its seafood products come from main aquaculture regions worldwide. And with help of the inspection and quarantine bureau, import companies are able to buy fresh food abroad, fly them to Guangzhou, finish customs clearance and then deliver them to consumers in short periods of time, said the general manager for one import company.

This system not only increases the efficiency of Guangzhou airport but also helps cut companies’ cost for their customs clearance. Now the airport has become the designated port for the import of edible fresh seafood products, fruit, seed, meat and frozen seafood. It plans to further develop its import service of fruit, meat and seafood. More systems are planned to be adopted for more convenience in the import of various fresh food.