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Sept.5, 2016

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INTERNATIONAL MARITIME IMPORTING | EXPORTING | PORTS | CARRIERS | BREAKBULK | GLOBAL LOGISTICS 22 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE SEPTEMBER 5.2016 JOC Staff CHINA'S EFFORTS TO prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika Virus by placing demands on the way containerized goods enter the country are sparking concerns among U.S. exporters about added costs and delays. "(Members) are very concerned right now," said Abigail Struxness, program manager for the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, which represents agricultural exporters. "This potentially has the ability to delay delivery on time, and affordably, to customers. It could be an added expense. It could mean getting delayed at the fumiga- tion facility." Much as the International Maritime Organization's container-weight verification rule vexed exporters for the better part of a year, China's Zika-prevention methods left many in the industry searching for answers. Freight forwarders, for example, initially informed U.S. exporters that containers would have to be fumigated upon arrival in China, resulting in a one- to three-day delay. But according to the Foreign Com- mercial Ser vice, which is part of the International Trade Administration, con- tainers shipped from the U.S. to China don't need to be fumigated but instead can be dis- insected, and government certification of the process isn't required as once believed. The FCS outlined the Chinese require- ments after members of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing met with the director general of China's Inspection and Quarantine Minis- try, documents obtained by The Journal of Commerce show. Shippers' ability to avoid fumigation and instead use easier and cheaper disinsection methods, which generally involve spraying for insects, provides an easier way for cargo to meet Chinese requirements than initially thought. That the certificate does not need to be certified by a government agency also simplifies the process for shippers. Chinese authorities initially said con- tainerized goods entering the country would need a mosquito-eradication cer- tificate to ensure the passage of goods. Without it, the goods might be quarantined or forced to undergo fumigation, they said. The announcement came shortly after the U.S. was added to the list of countries where Zika is considered a threat. If a container had to be fumigated at the point of entry, the cost would be about $30 for a 20-foot container and $60 for a 40-foot container, according to the FCS. After meeting with the Inspection and Quarantine Ministry, the U.S. government outlined the following elements of the Chi- nese measures: l All containers shipped from the U.S. to China, regardless of whether they come from a Zika-affected area or not, are sub- ject to China's regulations, even if Florida is the only part of the U.S. where Zika is considered a serious issue. l If an entire vessel was fumigated before or after being loaded, each container would not need to be fumigated. l Commodities kept at 15 degrees Cel- cius/59 degrees Fahrenheit or below are exempt from the Zika requirements. l Disinsection does not require fumigation. Disinsection can be carried out by physical or chemical means. For physical, this could include trapping, air curtains, or other integrated pest management techniques. For chemical, this could include surface spraying, space spraying, or fumigation. It is the shipper's choice, but should take into account human health and safety. l No official stamp is needed on a mos- quito eradication certificate issued prior to departure. Containers covered by such a certificate don't need to be fumigated. l Cargo that left the U.S. before the pro- gram was implemented on Aug. 5 is exempt from fumigation. Asia-Europe imports remain unaffected, and container lines haven't seen the need to issue advisories to their European import- ers. Still, shippers, which appear largely unaware of the regulations, said they aren't confident Europe will stay off the list. "I wasn't even aware of this one, but it seems that Europe is not yet being affected by this regulation, although that might change," said the Asia-Pacific logistics director of a large German distributor. "No Zika impact for us as yet, and no noise that we will have any impact, but I'm keeping my ear to the ground," the supply chain man- ager of a major U.K. retailer said. J OC Hugh R. Morley, Angela Yu, Mark Szakonyi and Greg Knowler contributed to this report. Updates can be found on ZIKA BITES SHIPPERS IN CHINA TRADE U.S. exporters seek to hone processes amid concerns about delays and costs related to virus-related measures "It seems that Europe is not yet being affected by this regulation, although that might change."

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