Hello there! We'll be launching our brand new website Q4 2021. As always - the team is here to help with your China business needs. Contact us as usual, or use the form.

Document: China quarantine requirements for imports of British seed potatoes

2018-09-18 China


On 17 September, 2018, China’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) issued quarantine requirements for British seed potatoes.

This document sheds more light on the standards that potential British potato exports will be held to before they are allowed to be imported into China. For more insight, we’ve translated and summarised these standards below.

Please note that before the seed potato is first exported to China, GACC will require quarantine officers to inspect the facilities, check the implementation of the protocol, and pre-screen the produce that is intended for export to China.

GACC Notice 2018, No. 118

Announcement on the quarantine requirements for the importation of potato plants in the UK.

Note: This translation is provided for your convenience and information purposes only. The official version of the document is available in Chinese. Should you require a complete, professionally reviewed translation; would like to obtain further information, or data on Chinese importers, please get in touch with us.

I. The basis of laws and regulations

  1. Law of the People’s Republic of China on Entry and Exit Animal and Plant Quarantine, Regulations on the Implementation of the Entry and Exit Animal and Plant Quarantine Law of the People’s Republic of China;
  2. The Protocol of the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom on the Phytosanitary Requirements for the Export of Potato in the Potato Fields to China.

II. The name of the goods allowed to enter the country

Potato field seed potato, scientific name: Solanum tuberosum L., English name: Seed Potatoes, hereinafter referred to as seed potato.

III. The allowed origin

Scotland region.

IV. List of quarantine pests of concern

  1. Ditylenchus destructor / 马铃薯腐烂茎线虫
  2. Ditylenchus dipsaci / 鳞球茎茎线虫
  3. Globodera pallida / 马铃薯白线虫
  4. Globodera rostochiensis / 马铃薯金线虫
  5. Meloidogyne minor / 较小根结线虫
  6. Pratylenchus crenatus / 刻痕短体线虫
  7. Pratylenchus neglectus / 落选短体线虫
  8. Pratylenchus goodeyi / 古氏短体线虫
  9. Pratylenchus thornei / 索氏短体线虫
  10. Lepinotarsa decemlineata / 马铃薯甲虫
  11. Synchytrium endobioticum / 马铃薯癌肿病菌
  12. Verticillium albo-atrum / 马铃薯黑白轮枝菌
  13. Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus / 马铃薯环腐病
  14. Phoma exigua var. Foveata / 马铃薯坏疽病菌
  15. Phytophthora erythroseptica / 马铃薯绯腐病菌
  16. Polyscytalum pustulans / 马铃薯皮斑病菌
  17. Potato virus A / 马铃薯A病毒
  18. Potato virus YN / 马铃薯Y病毒N株系
  19. Potato virus V / 马铃薯V病毒
  20. Tobacco rattle virus / 烟草脆裂病毒
  21. Tomato black ring virus / 番茄黑环病毒
  22. Potato aucuba mosaic virus / 马铃薯奥古巴花叶病毒
  23. Potato mop top virus / 马铃薯帚顶病毒
  24. Potato witches broom phytoplasma / 马铃薯丛枝植原体

V. Pre-shipment requirements

1. Registration requirements

The planting place, packaging plant and cold storage facility for exporting seed potatoes must be registered with the competent authorities in the UK (hereinafter referred to as the UK authorities) and jointly approved by both China and the UK. The registration list shall be provided by the Ministry of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (hereinafter referred to as DEFRA) to the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as GACC) prior to the annual export season.

2. Origin management
  1. All export-registered plantations should establish and implement Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to ensure traceability of the production process. Growers are required to maintain sanitary conditions in the planting area and, under the direction of the UK authorities, implement integrated pest management (IPM), including pest and disease monitoring, chemical or biological management, and farming operations.
  2. The seedlings that are exported to China should come from non-epidemic production sites or pest-free production sites, free of quarantine pests of concern to the Chinese side. The UK authorities should establish and maintain pest free production sites or pest free production sites in accordance with relevant International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs) and conduct at least two tests during potato growth to test the potato chips after potato harvesting to ensure that contamination of the planting area did not occur. If these pests are found in these pest-free places or pest-free production sites, the GACC must be notified immediately through DEFRA and the seed potatoes from these areas should be suspended for export to China.
  3. During the planting of Chinese seed potatoes, the incidence of black mites, withered, mosaic, leaf rolling and other mixed diseases caused by pests is within the official permission of the approved area. Mild mosaic symptoms, severe mosaic symptoms or leaf rolling symptoms caused by viruses such as potato virus Y (PVY), potato M virus (PVM), alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV), and potato leafroll virus (PLRV) detected during the field inspections should not exceed 0.1% of the allowable amount. Once the quarantine pest is detected or the controlled non-quarantine pest (see Appendix 1) is beyond the allowable amount (see Appendix 2), the seed potato from the planting area shall not be exported to China this season.
  4. The UK authorities will ensure that all registered plantations retain records of monitoring and control of pests and provide them to the GACC upon request. The control record should include detailed information on the name, active ingredient, date of use, and concentration of all chemicals used during the growing season. The plots for planting potatoes should be rotated for a period of 5-7 years.
3. Control measures for specific quarantine pests
  1. For potato stem nematodes, Dinglenchus destructor, Ditylenchus dipsaci, Glododera pallida, Glododera rostochiensis, Meloidogyne minor, Pratylenchus crenatus, Pratylenchus neglectus, Pratylenchus goodeyi, Pratylenchus thornei, the soil should be sampled before planting, and the chips should be tested after harvest. If any type of nematode is found, the seed potatoes produced in this parcel shall not be exported to China.
  2. For potato ring rot Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. Sepedonicus, a sample survey of potatoes should be carried out during the production period in accordance with the European Commission 2006/56/EC, and the test records should be kept. Once found, the seed potatoes produced in this parcel must not be exported to China.
  3. For Synchry endobioticum, 1 km of isolation zone should be established around the five plots in the approved area, and the seed potatoes planted in the block in the isolation zone should not be exported to China.
  4. For potato virus A, potato virus YN, potato virus YN, potato virus V, and tomato black ring virus, ELISA test to be performed on the potato chips by variety or by batch after harvest, 4 samples of 5,000 to 10,000 seed potatoes, 20 seed potatoes per sample, and 1 sample added for each 10,000 seed potatoes. Once found, the seed potatoes produced in the local parcel must not be exported to China.
  5. For the Phytophthora erythroseptica, potato rot, a symptom check must be performed one month after harvest. If the symptoms of the hazard or suspected symptoms are found, the seed potatoes produced in the local parcel shall not be exported to China.
  6. For Tobacco rattle virus and Potato mop top virus, a potato inspection is required. Once a hazard or suspected symptom is found, the seed potato from the planting area may not be exported to China this season.
  7. For Helmintrosporium solani, field monitoring should be carried out, appropriate control measures should be taken, and the potato pieces should be sprayed with fungicide after harvesting. The type and treatment effect of fungicides must be approved by GACC. The transportation uses a low temperature container with a temperature < 7 °C and a humidity < 90% RH.
4. Packaging requirements
  1. The processing, packaging, storage and shipment of seed potatoes must be carried out under the quarantine supervision of the competent authorities of the United Kingdom.
  2. During the packaging process, the seed potatoes are selected and graded to ensure that they are free of insects, mites, rotten potatoes, soil and other plant residues.
  3. The seed potato packaging materials should be clean and unused, in line with China’s relevant phytosanitary requirements. The packaged seed potatoes are stored separately to avoid re-infection by harmful organisms.
  4. Each package is marked with the information of seed potato grade, variety name, harvest date, origin (state, city or county), planting place, packaging plant and so on. Each pallet of goods must be marked “transported to the People’s Republic of China” in Chinese. If no pallets, such as air cargo, are used, the Chinese version of “Deport to the People’s Republic of China” is marked on each package.
5. Quarantine before export

(Note: there is a mistake in the paragraph numbering in the originally released document)

Before exporting, the UK authorities should inspect each batch of seed potatoes exported to China at a rate of at least 5% per species or at least 200 potatoes per container. If the quarantine pests of concern to the Chinese side are found, or the controlled non-quarantine pests exceed the prescribed threshold, the goods shall not be exported to China, and the seed potatoes of the relevant plantations and packaging plants shall be suspended for export to China.

6. Requirements for phytosanitary certificates

If the quarantine is qualified, the competent British authorities shall issue a phytosanitary certificate indicating the container number and indicate in the additional statement: “This batch of seed potatoes complies with the phytosanitary requirements of the Phytosanitary Protocol for the Supply of UK Solanum tuberosum Seed Potatoes for Import into China

The content and format of the phytosanitary certificate shall comply with the requirements of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 12.

VI. Entry requirements

1. Quarantine approval

Before importing seed potatoes, importers should apply to the General Administration of Customs for the Entry Animal and Plant Quarantine Permit.

2. Verification of relevant certificates and marks
  1. Check whether the imported seed potato is accompanied by the Entry Animal and Plant Quarantine Permit.
  2. Verify that the phytosanitary certificate complies with the provisions of Article 5(5).
  3. Check that the marking on the box meets the requirements of Article 5(4).
3. Entry quarantine

After the seed potato arrives at the designated port of entry in China, the customs officers will quarantine the imported seed potato according to the relevant regulations of the Inspection and Quarantine Work Manual, and the pests of the fourth article of this request, and Targeted quarantine for non-quarantine pests of concern. Those that pass the quarantine inspection are allowed to enter the country.

4. Isolation and quarantine

After the seed potatoes enter the country, they will be quarantined at the national level for isolation and quarantined according to the proportion of 400 seed potatoes per batch. During the quarantine period, the remaining seed potatoes can be shipped to GACC approved sites for isolation and planting.

5. Disposal of those that do not meet the requirements
  1. If it is found to be from unapproved plantations and packaging plants, the batch of seed potatoes is not allowed to enter the country.
  2. If a quarantine pest is found, the shipment shall be returned, destroyed or quarantined.
  3. If the controlled non-quarantine pest exceeds the allowable amount specified in Attachment 2, the shipment shall be returned, destroyed or quarantined.
  4. If quarantine pests of concern to the Chinese side are discovered during quarantine or isolation, the batch of seed potatoes will be disposed of in accordance with relevant quarantine laws and regulations.
  5. The GACC will inform DEFRA that it will suspend the relevant plantations to export seed potatoes to China and suspend the entire project as appropriate. The UK authorities should conduct an investigation to identify the cause and implement appropriate improvements. The GACC will evaluate improvements to determine whether to resume imports.

VII. Compliance review and pre-screening

Before the seed potato is first exported to China, GACC will send two quarantine officers to the UK to check the implementation of this protocol, including seed potato production management and pest control system, pest control, packaging plant, storage facility management and phytosanitary status and related records, and pre-screening of seed potatoes intended for export to China.

VIII. Retrospective review

According to the dynamics and interception of the potato epidemic in the approved area, the GACC will continue to carry out further risk assessment and negotiate with DEFRA to adjust the list of quarantine pests of concern to China and the corresponding quarantine measures. For example, if potato seed potatoes in other parts of the UK are intended to be exported to China, an application is required and China will initiate a risk analysis program.

Source: General Administration of Customs Notice 2018 No. 118 (original text in Chinese)