China Lifts Ban on Belgian Pork Imports Amidst High-Level Talks

China’s customs authorities announced the removal of a five-year ban on Friday, allowing the resumption of imports for pig and pork products from Belgium. This ban, initially imposed in 2018 due to an African swine fever outbreak, has been lifted in conjunction with a significant meeting between Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

In a joint statement, the General Administration of Customs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development specified that Belgium’s exported pig and pork products must adhere to China’s rigorous statutory inspection and quarantine requirements.

The decision to lift the ban reflects a comprehensive risk analysis and signifies a positive turn for Belgium, one of the world’s largest pig producers. Compliance with stringent safety measures is now crucial as the country re-establishes itself as a pork supplier to China.

In a parallel move, China imposed restrictions on Thursday, prohibiting the import of pig, pig products, and wild boars from Bangladesh. This decision comes in response to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) reporting an outbreak of the disease in Chittagong, a major port city in Bangladesh. China’s proactive measures underscore its commitment to safeguarding its domestic livestock industry from potential health risks.

These recent developments highlight the delicate balance between global trade and biosecurity. They emphasize the importance of adherence to international health standards in facilitating the movement of goods across borders, especially in the context of the complex interplay between economic considerations and public health.