China Eases Zika rules for US exports

Chinese regulators have reduced the Zika-prevention requirements for US exports to China several times since they were first announced, according to an update from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

Chinese authorities have decided that the containers arriving in China from the United States don’t need to comply with special rules designed to prevent the spread of Zika, and instead say the mandates will apply only to vessels leaving Florida — the state most seriously affected by the disease, US officials say.

The updated rules mean that only vessels and containers that originate in Florida need to be disinsected — which can include spraying with chemicals, trapping, air curtains, or other integrated pest management techniques — to combat the disease, which is spread by mosquitos, the US Foreign Agricultural Service said.

FAS added, “However, if during the course of routine sampling and inspection, local CIQ officials discover any adult mosquitoes, eggs, larva or infected cases, the vessel and its contents will be subject to the full Zika requirements described below”

The decision will please shippers from states other than Florida, who worried that the rules could mean shipping delays and added costs.

China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine made its decision based on research that showed the “low risk of Zika transmission through shipments of cargo,” said the US Foreign Agricultural Service.

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