Ireland on Thursday announced a significant step in the country's live crab exports to China following a recent visit by a Chinese delegation.
The two countries agreed to an export certificate, which will permit the resumption of crab exports to the Chinese market, according to Irish Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.
The Chinese delegation from General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), arrived here on Monday for a three-day working visit.
During the visit, China's AQSIQ and Ireland's Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) reached a technical agreement on a methodology designed to resolve the issue of certification of live crab exports to China.
The agreement is built around implementation of a national monitoring program of live crab intended for export to China. The SFPA will implement the monitoring program.
China's AQSIQ will continue to monitor consignments arriving in China and the SFPA will liaise with Irish industry to apprise seafood exporters of specific requirements to recommence live crab trade with China.
In 2010, Ireland secured market access in China for live crab through bilateral cooperation. In 2015, China expressed concern about the levels of the heavy metal cadmium in live crabs coming from Ireland.