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Shipments from Florida to China Must Undergo Mosquito Disinsection

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Effective March 2016, China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) has imposed disinsection requirements on all shipments coming from Zika-affected countries and regions.  AQSIQ continues to maintain and update its list of Zika-affected areas, and the United States was added to that list on August 5, 2016.   With this in mind, staff from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, including officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), met with AQSIQ’s Department of Supervision and Health Quarantine on August 18 to discuss the disinsection requirement.

Following that meeting, FAS published an “Update on China’s Requirements for Shipments from Zika-Infected Countries.”  The update, while not an official USDA guidance, stated as follows:

  1. All cargo shipments originating from the U.S. must include proof of disinsection upon arrival at a Chinese port. This applies to all vessels that left the U.S. on or after August 5, with the exception of containers kept at or under a temperature of 15⁰C (59⁰F).
  2. Disinsection treatment may be carried out by either physical or chemical means, and does not require fumigation. Physical means can include trapping, air curtains, or other integrated pest-management techniques; while chemical means can include surface spraying, space spraying, or fumigation. The treatment used should take into account human health and safety.
  3. Treatment can be carried out at any point during the shipping process. For example, containers may be disinsected before loading, certified as mosquito free, then loaded in a mosquito-free environment.

In this regard, while Florida is currently the only State in the U.S. that has been affected by the virus, the disinsection requirements were being applied to all shipments coming from the U.S.  With this in mind, after additional deliberations with AQSIQ officials, FAS issued an additional notice entitled “Updated China’s Zika Disinsection Requirements for U.S. Exports: Regionalization Implemented” on September 2, 2016.  As noted therein, AQSIQ agreed to regionalize the Zika requirements for shipments of cargo from the U.S. based on a risk-assessment it performed using data supplied by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Accordingly, only U.S. shipments from Florida would require disinsection certification.  Nevertheless, should any adult mosquitoes, eggs, larva, or infected cases be found during routine sampling and inspection by the Chinese port officials, the vessel and its contents will be subject to the full Zika requirements.