Chinese anti-Zika prevention efforts

Efforts by Chinese authorities seeking to prevent the spread of Zika by placing demands on the way containerized goods enter China have sparked concerns among U.S. exporters about added costs and delays, a trade group said Wednesday.

Shipping companies have alerted members of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, which represents agriculture exporters, that they will need a Mosquito Eradication Certificate to ensure passage of goods into China, the organization said. Without it, the goods might be quarantined or forced to undergo “costly fumigation,” the coalition said in a release.

“(Members) are very concerned right now,” said Abigail Struxness, program manager for the coalition. “This potentially has the ability to delay delivery on time, and affordably, to customers. It could be an added expense. It could mean getting delayed at the fumigation facility.”

Shipping companies began alerting customers of the requirements recently, after China added the United States to the list of countries for which China requires incoming goods to be undergo anti-mosquito treatment.

Part of the difficulty, however, is that it is not clear what are the fumigation requirements or what chemicals should be used, or who would issue the certificate, Struxness said.

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