Beef Export to China – Everything You Need to Know

Export Beef to China

Table of Contents

All U.S-based companies that work with beef products and its supplies including slaughterhouses, fabricators, and processors have to work in compliance with USDA Export Verification Program’s requirements, specifically for beef export to China. We have created this post to cover all the details about how to export American beef to China.

How to Export Beef to China – Key Requirements:

The specifications for US beef export to China according to the USDA Export Verification Program include:

  1. All beef products used in export must be derived from cattle, born, raised, and slaughtered in the United States. It may also include imported cattle, born in Canada or Mexico, while raised and slaughtered in the U.S
  2. All cattle should be traceable, back to the birth farm in the United States, or the port of entry, if imported, using a unique identifier.
  3. No cattle, used for this purpose, must be older than 30 months of age.
  4. The eligible products for shipment include all chilled or frozen bone-in and deboned beef products
  5. Every shipment product including the carcasses, beef, and beef products must be uniquely identified

Eligible and Ineligible Beef Products

Eligible Beef Products

The products that are eligible for American beef export to China include deboned beef and bone-in beef. The category of bone-in eligible beef products include kidney, liver, heart, omasum, outside and inside skirt, hanging tender, oxtails, tendons, beef bones, cheek and head meat, feet, oxlips, tongues, backstrap, ground beef, and tunic tissue. All these products must be extracted from cattle not older than 30 months.

None of the eligible products will be used in the export if they are fully cooked or include any additives. The only processes allowed include scalding, heat-treatment, or smoked.

Ineligible Beef Products

Several products that cannot be exported to China include;

  1. All beef products that mechanically separated and minced meat. The specifics here include weasand meat, the reticulum, sweetbreads, small and large intestine, aorta, the abomasum, tallow, rumen, and pizzle.
  2. Beef products that have undergone processing
  3. Products that are not in the A 4 eligible list

Guidelines to Export Beef to China

Exporting Beef to China – Beef Labelling Requirements

Bulk Packaging

Exterior Label in Chinese and English

  1. Name of product
  2. Details of origin, i.e., country, state, and city
  3. Number of Establishment
  4. Date of production
  5. Period of storage, shelf-life, or date of expiration
  6. Temperature requirement for storage
  7. Destination details
  8. Net weight (English Only)
  9. Inspection legend (English Only)
  10. Company details including name and address (English Only)
  11. Exported-defined Production Lot number
  12. Type of Packaging

Inner Label in English and Chinese

  1. Name of product
  2. Origin (country)
  3. Number of Establishment
  4. Exporter-defined Production Lot number

Pre-packaged food directly delivered to the consumer for immediate retail sale

  1. Labels (Chinese and English)
  2. Name of Product
  3. Origin (country)
  4. Number of Establishment
  5. Date of Production
  6. Date of Expiration, shelf-life, or required period of storage
  7. Specified storage temperature
  8. Country of destination
  9. Net weight
  10. Inspection legend (English)
  11. Company name and address (English)
  12. Exporter-defined Production Lot number
  13. Type of packaging
  14. Ingredient details

The production lot number on the exterior label must be the same as that on the inner label. However, the size, color, or any other characteristics have no impact on the eligibility. The label must be clear enough for easy reading.

Other Requirements

According to beef experts in China, the exterior package label can contain shelf-life for both chilled and frozen conditions. However, the package must be designed as chilled or frozen so that the ones receiving the package know which dates to look for.

Export Documentation Requirements

Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Certificates

The FSIS Export Certificate is only for the eligible beef products which they get after going through a verification assessment approved USDA Quality System Assessment Program (QSA) or USDA Process Verified Program (PVP) by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The assessment ensures that all products are in compliance with the requirements and come with a documented quality management system.

A requirement for all products is that all FSIS export certificates accompanying the product including FSIS Form 9060-5, FSIS Form 9060-7, FSIS Form 9060-18, Letterhead Certificates 2630-9, and China-specific FSIS Form 9295-1, must mention the date signed, the typed name of the FSIS veterinarian who signed the certificate with their professional degree, and the signature of that certifying FSIS veterinarian exactly as typed. The document with the name handprinted will not be accepted.

The FSIS Form 9060-5 in the “Remarks” section, filled by every exporter, must contain the container number, along with the seal number and port of entry.

Export Certificate Notification for Prior US Beef Export to China

The General Administration of China Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC), needs an electronic notification of all FSIS-regulated commodity shipments in advance. The section focuses on advanced notification for prior product arrival to China.

Providing a notification before arrival is the primary responsibility of the exporter or the agent of the exporter. The necessary forms needed for notification include FSIS Form 9060-5, FSIS Form 9295-1, and applicable letterhead.  All this paperwork has to be signed; it will be scanned by the FSIS Public Health Veterinarian (PHV). The scanned documents will then be sent via e-mail. The FSIS PHV will also have to scan and send replacement certificates.

PDF copies of the following documents have to be submitted by the same FSIS PHV for each shipment;

  • FSIS Form 9060-5
  • FSIS Form 9295-1
  • Applicable letterhead certificates

One PDF scan must include all the following documents.

Submissions made through email must follow a strict format, or it may be left out at the time of processing. The format for the E-mail submissions is as follows;

  1. Subject: ” Enter Establishment Number where the certificate was issued>.” Example: MPM-XXXXXX EST XXXX.
  2. One PDF-formatted attachment of the signed certificates per e-mail
  3. Attachment file naming format: “[MPM-XXXXXX EST XXXX or appropriate certificate number].pdf”.
  4. The name of the attachment file and the subject line must be the same
  5. The body of the e-mail must contain if a shipment is arriving through an air flight. Note: natural casings do not require pre-notification
    Note: the certificates must contain product weight in kilograms as well as pounds to avoid excessive delays at the port.

Additional Information to be Collected on Export Certificates

  1. Ocean vessel container/air cargo container number
  2. Shipper’s commercial seal number on the container, not a USDA seal)
  3. The FSIS Form 9295-1, and the “Remarks” of the FSIS Form 9060-5 must include numbers for the Ocean/Air Cargo Container and Seals
  4. The Chinese entry port. Click here to see the designated list of ports and inspection sites. The “Remarks” of the FSIS Form 9060-5 must contain the port entry in China
  5. The block 24 on FSIS 9060-6, Application for Export Certificate must include container number, commercial seal number(s), and port of entry in China if known.
  6. In case the container number, commercial seal number(s), and port of entry in China are NOT known at the time of certification:
    • The applicant must complete the FSIS Form 9060-6, Application for Export, to include all required information.
    • The applicant must also enter the company name, contact authority (i.e., a supervisor or manager), address, and phone number of the company that will load and seals the container.
    • FSIS will allow stamping of the product using an export stamp, perform an inspection, permit completion of certificates, and provide FSIS Form 9060-5, FSIS Form 9295-1, and applicable letterhead.
    • The CSI secures all unsigned certificates in government files after obtaining the container number(s), commercial seal number(s), and port of entry in China are obtained. It is the responsibility of CSIs to verify that seal as well as the container numbers are in FSIS Form 9060-6 block 24 and as appropriate in the blocks on the FSIS Form 9295-1, and that the container and seal numbers match. The port of entry in China and the seal and container number is to be added to the “Remarks” of FSIS Form 9060-5 for beef, pork, and poultry certificates.
    • The same FSIS inspection office which carried out the export inspection must be requested to sign the completed FSIS Form 9060-6. The signed form must be compiled with the unsigned FSIS Forms 9060-5, the FSIS Form 9295-1, and applicable letterheads in an envelope that must be sealed, signed, and dated for couriering to the PHVs for signature. The time and date as to when the envelope was sealed have to be recorded by the CSIs next to the recording of the certificate number when they log it.
    • After receiving the envelope, the PHV will have to break the seal, withhold his or her signature, and report to his or her supervisory chain of command.
  7. In case additional space is required, an FSIS letterhead certificate with the container and seal numbers indicated on it should be issued. Along with the container and seal number, the letterhead must also contain the certificate number, date, and the signature of the same veterinarian signing the FSIS 9060-5, FSIS 9295-1, and applicable letterhead certificate. It is necessary if multiple containers are issued on a single form.In case an applicant requires a continuation sheet, they may use FSIS Form 9060-5A. The FSIS Form 9295-1 does not have a continuation sheet, and in such a case, multiple forms should be used. The FSIS Form 9295-1 can only be ordered from the FSIS Field Supply Center as it is a watermarked form. Products intended for export to China cannot be certified using the photocopies of this form.

Download Export Documentation Forms Required for US Beef Export to China:

FSIS Form 9060-5

FSIS Form 9060-5A

FSIS Form 9060-5B

FSIS Form 9060-7

FSIS Form 9060-18

Letterhead Certificates 2630-9

China-specific FSIS Form 9295-1

Quality Management and Record-Keeping Software for Beef Producers:

Using the Folio3’s Farm Quality Management and Cattle Record Keeping software, certified beef producers can provide their consumers with added details about how they process their beef. The software provides invaluable insights into the entire process where the beef moves from cattle feeding operators to companies that process and finally to the market. Implementation of beef certification program is a diligent process which requires a step by step approach along with extensive record-keeping and verification. Folio3 understands how hard the process gets when done using paper-based processes and operations. Storing and managing such extensive data is challenging, that too, manually. With a paper-based data recording system analyzing it to identify the trends and patterns in it is a challenge in itself.

With our seamlessly designed multi-platform mobile-based solution, implementation of beef certification is no more a hectic task. The state-of-the-art features address all dominant challenges by digitizing and automating the current paper-based certified beef programs. Folio3’s mobile app features a design that makes it easy for the farm or factory workers to use, as it makes submissions of activity logs and checklists associated with each SOP convenient and stress-free.

The certified beef program administrators are allowed a consolidated view of program compliance. They can view it across all feed yards and even across all beef processing units. The best thing about our feature-rich solution is that it aligns with your unique set of requirements. It is the perfect solution through which you can work towards making your brand a massive success.

Export Documentation Software for Beef Producers

Manual documentation is a headache for all beef producers, and our Export Documentation Software adds convenience to the lives of these beef producers by addressing this very problem. It is a solution that makes document processing free of stress for businesses, letting them focus on other high-priority tasks.

The solution lets beef producers upload PDF forms for different countries, and the most impressive feature is that all these forms get auto-filled through mapping of the existing data with the AcroForm fields. Another smart feature is that the software saves all the mapping details to save a user’s time when a new version of the form is uploaded. In case there are changes in the new version, a user can modify the field mappings. Moreover, these auto-filled forms can be printed and sent to USDA for further processing. Using this software, the beef exporters can electronically submit these forms via the FDIC site, eliminating the need to print and submit a form manually.

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