Merchants request AQSIQ certificates for exports to China

A request has been submitted to the government to arrange for General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ) registration for agricultural, livestock, marine and industrial products exported to China as soon as possible, according to U Ko Ko Gyi, member of the border trade promotion working committee of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

The request was submitted at the 25th monthly meeting between local entrepreneurs and the private sector development committee led by Vice President U Myint Swe this month.

AQSIQ is a ministerial, administrative organ directly under the State Council of the People’s Republic of China in charge of national quality, metrology, commodity inspection, entry-exit health quarantine, entry-exit animal and plant quarantine, import-export food safety, certification and accreditation, standardisation as well as administrative law-enforcement.

Only five commodities – rice, mango, watermelon, muskmelon and plum – have got AQSIQ certificates. Most other goods are illegally exported at the border, making it easy for Chinese merchants to exploit Myanmar traders, U Ko Ko Gyi said.

Myanmar faces situations where China traders do not import goods officially from Myanmar. As such, the Chinese authorities often conduct spot checks and seize goods or suspend trading, which frequently leads to losses for Myanmar traders.

Among the four China-Myanmar border trade camps, Muse, Lwal Gel, Chin Shwe Haw and Kan Paik Ti, trade volumes at Muse camp are the highest. However, trade volumes have decreased substantially owing to frequent bans and crackdowns by the Chinese authorities.

The trade volume from October 1, 2018 to the second week of March amounted to US$2.3 billion – export volumes reached about US$1.5 billion and import volumes were more than US$783million. During the same period of last year, the trade volume was more than US$2.8 billion- with exports of around US$2.1 billion and imports of around US$747million.

That’s a decrease of more than US$620million in trade volumes over the period.

Border trade with China accounts for about 70 percent of all trade between Myanmar and its neighbours. It also involves high volumes of Myanmar agricultural produce. Almost all Myanmar maize is exported to China, for example. Yet, there are no existing policies or bilateral agreement dealing with trade disruptions or disagreements between the two countries.

This has resulted in frequent volatility leading to losses in Myanmar. For example, more than 1500 fruit trucks were stranded at the Myanmar-China border between Christmas and the New Year due to the closure of Kyin San Kyawt gate near Muse.

Last November, an import ban on Myanmar rice, sugar and maize by China also led to a standstill in trade.

As such, there is an urgent need for AQSIQ certificates for agricultural products like broken rice, pulses, corn, sesame, peanuts, yam, pomelos, rambutans, durians and rubber as well as livestock products like cattle, sheep, goats and marine products like fishes, prawns, crabs, eels, cuttlefish, and industrial goods like ready-made foods and paints, he said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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