Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chinese Delegation In Town To Audit 15 Birds Nest Processing Plants

PUTRAJAYA, April 9 (Bernama) -- A Chinese delegation has arrived in Malaysia to audit 15 birds nest processing plants before they are allowed to export their products to China.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar said the six-member delegation which arrived in Malaysia yesterday would conduct the audits over two weeks on the plants in Selangor, Sarawak, Pahang, Melaka, Johor, Penang and Kedah.

He said the delegation comprised experts from China's Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA), China Entry Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau (CIQ) and Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine (CAIQ), and was led by CNCA deputy director-general, Li Chunguang.

"Prior to this, we had applied for 20 companies which wanted to export birds nest to China to be audited but after the applications were vetted by the Chinese authorities, my ministry and the Health Ministry were informed only 15 companies qualified to be audited.

"We hope the 15 plants will pass the audit so that we can overcome the problem we are facing about exporting birds nest to China," he told reporters after receiving a visit from the delegation at his ministry here Tuesday.

Prior to this, China had made it mandatory for birds nest exporters from Malaysia to meet three conditions, namely the products must have quality certification from the veterinary authorities, a Radio Frequency Identification (FRID) system approved by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and safety certification from the Health Ministry.

However, the local players objected to the RFID requirement and in September last year, China relented and allowed alternative technology for traceability purposes.

The Chinese authorities also wanted to audit the processing plants before they were allowed to export their products to the republic.

According to Noh, Malaysia and China had been holding negotiations to enable re-export of birds nest to China which culminated in the Cabinet agreeing to allow the Chinese authorities to audit the plants.

He added that Malaysia was the first country the delegation was visiting to to do the audits and this was possible because of the close ties between the two countries. Bernama

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