An Introduction to Entry-Exit Plant Inspection and Quarantine


In order to protect the security of agricultural, forestry production and ecological environment, to prevent importing or exporting harmful organisms for plants, and to promote the development of trade of agricultural products, AQSIQ and its inspection and quarantine institutions shall, in accordance with laws and regulations such as the Law of People’s Republic of China on Entry-Exit Animal and Plant Quarantine and its implementation measures, perform the plant inspection and quarantine at the port on entry-exit plants, plant products and other quarantine objects. In addition to entry-exit plants and plant products, means of transportation such as belongings of passengers, postal articles and ships, airplanes, and containers, etc shall also be subject to plant inspection and quarantine.

       There are 35 inspection and quarantine bureaus directly under the AQSIQ, 297 inspection and quarantine branch institutions and 390 inspection and quarantine offices so far, at 31 provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government, and major ports. Moreover, there are 452 laboratories for inspection and quarantine, 10000 sets of facilities for inspection and quarantine, and around 5000 personnel responsible for the entry-exit plant inspection and quarantine, supervision and management, and issuance of certificates.

       Main procedures of entry-exit plant inspection and quarantine are as follows:

1. Inspection and quarantine report: a consignor or his/ her agent shall apply for inspection and quarantine at the entry-exit inspection and quarantine institution. Documents, such as a plant quarantine certificate issued by the export country or region, approval of quarantine or quarantine form of special permission, trade contract, certificate of origin, invoices and a packing list, shall be presented when entering the country.

2. Quarantine on the spot: when imported plants and products arrive at a port of entry, the import entity, individual or its agent shall immediately inform an entry-exit inspection and quarantine institution, and the inspection and quarantine institution shall appoint quarantine functionaries to perform quarantine on the spot. The first step of quarantine on the spot is to check to see whether categories and quantity of the plants and products are in conformity with that described in the application form of inspection and quarantine, and check relevant information and documents about the plants and products; second, the quarantine functionaries shall check to see whether there are non-quarantine insect pests or weed seeds on the exterior packaging, means of transportation, bedding materials and other materials. When inspecting plants and products, quarantine functionaries shall observe them by naked eyes and with a magnifying glass to confirm whether there are diseases, insect pests, or weed seeds. If a suspected epidemic situation is detected during the on-the-spot quarantine, the sample size can be increased, and a certain quantity of samples of suspucted products shall be sent to the laboratory for quarantine and verification.

3. Inspection and quarantine in the laboratory: on the basis of inspection and quarantine on the spot, the quarantine functionaries shall conduct inspection and quarantine on samples of products in the laboratory. It includes the quarantine and identification of insects, epiphytes, bacteria, wireworms and virus, as well as the inspection on harmful and poisonous substances such as residues of pesticide, heavy metals, and microorganisms, etc.

4. Inspection and quarantine treatment: if problems such as the entry-exit products with epidemic situation and harmful and poisonous substances are detected by inspection and quarantine, the inspection and quarantine institution shall notify the consignor or relevant parties to perform treatment measures such as returning the products to the place of origin, destroying it, conducting the treatment of disinfection and disinfestation, or technical process, etc. Imported propagating materials that shall be subject to isolation quarantine according to relevant requirements of examination and approval of quarantine, such as seeds and seedlings, must be isolated and quarantined at an isolation field designated by the entry-exit inspection and quarantine institution.

5. Issuance of certificates and release after inspection and quarantine: if the plants and products are proven to be qualified after the inspection and quarantine, release of the entry-exit goods shall be approved, and relevant certificates of inspection and quarantine shall be issued.

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