A container with 24,000 kilos of pork will depart from Puerto Caldera in Puntarenas to Puerto Shenzhen in Guandong.
-  A.M. Costa Rica wire service photo.-

-  Published: Thursday, February 13, 2020 -

First export of pork to China

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With the legend "First export of pork to the Republic of China," a container with 24,000 kilos of pork will depart Friday from Puerto Caldera in Puntarenas Province to Puerto Shenzhen in Guandong.

According to the government, Costa Rica in the first country in Central America to export pork to China and the fifth in Latin America, joining México, Chile, Brazil and Argentina.

Authorities expect the cargo to arrive in China in 35 days. In addition, shipping of one container per week will begin and then 10 shipments per month have been scheduled during the first year.

The announcement of the first export of this type to China was given by President Carlos Alvarado at the facilities of Grupo Zamora located in Barreal in Heredia. This company is the first pork processing plant authorized to export by the Chinese health authorities.

According to Alvarado, this first shipment of pork to the Asian country "allows the expansion to new markets and the generation of new opportunities for small and medium pig producers."

According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2019 about 15 million kilos of beef were exported to China. There is also the expectation of exporting 3 million kilos pork meat this year.

According to the ministry, the negotiation for the export of pork to China began in 2013 with the signing of the agreement on veterinary and sanitary requirements.

Subsequently, in 2016, the Chinese authorities audited potential exporting establishments.

Biosecurity measures are included among the sanitary requirements established in the agreement between Costa Rica and China to guarantee that the meat comes from healthy animals, born and raised in Costa Rica. There also is certification that frozen pork meat is free of contaminants or pathogens.

Currently, there are nine other pig farms that are in the process of getting authorization to export to China.

According to official data, the pork production sector generates more than 2,000 direct jobs.

In February, Customs service authorities signed an action plan with representatives from the Chinese government to expedite customs clearance between the two countries.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the agreement known as the Mutual Recognition Agreement of Authorized Economic Operators could be finally approved before April 2021.

The signing of this work plan came after a meeting last December between Juan Carlos Gómez, general director of Costa Rican Customs and Li Guo, deputy minister of the General Administration of Customs of China.

The agreement would grant a special certification for exporters and importers of products between both countries.

The certification would give more benefits to exporters and importers who meet the requirements of the agreement. It also has the goal of improving the customs service for companies, the government said.

As part of this action plan, the representatives of both countries began reviewing the regulations and verifying the international standards defined by this program.

Also, officials from China made visits to certified companies in Costa Rica to verify the implementation of security, control and customs compliance.

Once the Mutual Recognition Agreement gets approved, the companies that are part of the program in Costa Rica will obtain more agile conditions, facilitation of international trade operations, application of best practices in security standards, use of information and control of traceability, said the ministry.

According to the ministry, this agreement started in Costa Rica in 2011 and has more than 30 companies certified as exports, imports, port operators and export cargo terminals.

Costa Rica has signed similar agreements with Mexico, other countries in Central America and Colombia, said the ministry.

Commercial relations between Costa Rica and China were formalized in 2011 with the signing of a free trade agreement and evolved until the approval of a pest risk analysis and the shipment of the first exports, said the Ministry of Foreign Trade.

According to the statistics provided by the ministry, during 2018, Costa Rica exported $194.4 million to China. Among the exported products, medical prostheses, sugar, beef, ethyl alcohol and prepared or concentrated citrus fruits stand out.

Should Costa Rican authorities include more national products in the export agreements with China? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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