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Exporting Meat Products to China

By EU SME Centre | Guidelines      03.08.2016     Tags: Food & Beverages

An essential guide for meat exporters and distributors to export to China. 

Over the past 15 years, the share of EU meat products in China has grown steadily. Now more than 200 establishments from 13 EU countries have obtained the licence to sell their products in the Chinese market.

The challenge for European businesses will be to diversify their product offering in order to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving consumer demand. Another key challenge will be to manage the meat importing process and conforming to a multitude of regulations in a complex regulatory framework.  

This 24-page Market Access Guide will navigate your organisation through the process, providing you with the essential information on how to get your meat products into the Chinese market. Below are the HS code references covered in this guide:

  • 0201 Meat of bovine animals, fresh or chilled
  • 0202 Meat of bovine animals, frozen
  • 0203 Meat of swine, fresh, chilled or frozen 
  • 0204 Meat of sheep or goats, fresh, chilled or frozen 
  • 0205 Meat of horses, asses, mules or hinnies, fresh, chilled or frozen
  • 0206 Edible offal of bovine animals, swine, sheep, goats, horses, asses, mules or hinnies, fresh, chilled or frozen 
  • 0207 Meat and edible offal of poultry fresh, chilled or frozen 

Starting with an overview of the main laws and regulations concerned with meat imports, before looking more closely at how individual exporters from the EU can access the market. The guide includes details on the customs process, company requirements for Chinese importers and EU exporters, export process timeframes, as well as outlining the main challenges European SMEs will face, and, more importantly, how to overcome them.

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The contents of this Market Access Guide include:

Before exporting, understand....

1.   Market Overview              
2.   Regulatory Framework    
  • Food Safety
  • Meat Imports
3.   Who is Allowed to Export Meat Products to China?
  • Protocols
  • How Can I Obtain an Approval for My Company?

When preparing your export, become familiar with... 

4.   Import Procedures            
  • What are the Requirements for Foreign Meat Exporters in China?
  • What are the Requirements for Local Meat Importers in China?
  • Meat Imports Procedure Scheme
  • Timeframes and Costs of Import Procedures after Arrival at Chinese Port
5.   Laws and Standards         
  • Food Safety and Entry-Exit Laws and Regulations on Inspection and Quarantine
  • Standards
6.   Challenges
  • Government Policy Change 
  • Competition from Non-EU Countries 
  • Regulation Enforcement Consistency
7.   Final Recommendations for EU Exporters

About the Author

Jordi Baqué Pons, EU SME Centre Expert

Jordi Baqué Pons has been supporting F&B companies to export globally since 1991, with a focus on meat and meat processing. He was an international trade advisor for the Girona Chamber of Commerce until 2014, where he assisted exporters by providing market research, training, promotional activities as well as export documentation services. In 2006 he became Director of the International Trade Department and was responsible for the coordination and supervision of all internationalisation services provided by the Chamber. As a member of the China Experts Network of the Understanding China Programme, he was also responsible for the implementation of a consulting centre for Girona’s agro-food sector to facilitate exports to China. Since 2014, Jordi started his own business as an independent International Trade Consultant. He holds a degree in business and sociology from the Universitat Autònoma in Barcelona.

Martina Gerst, Standards & Conformity Assessment Advisor, EU SME Centre

Dr Martina Gerst provides advice for European SMEs on market access issues across ten different sectors. Martina is a contributor to a number of intergovernmental projects between the EU and China that span a range of areas such technology, IP, or new energy vehicles. These projects draw on Martina’s professional experience in Europe, the US and China over two decades. During this time Martina held various senior positions for leading international companies and SMEs. Martina holds a PhD and a LLM in Innovation, Technology, and Law from the University of Edinburgh in UK.

This report was published during the EU SME Centre in China Phase II (2014-2020), which was funded by the European Union (ICI+/2014/346-276).


The report was drafted in collaboration with external creators, who worked under service agreements with the Consortium running the EU SME Centre Phase II. The copyrights and intellectual property of this publication belong to the Consortium partner China-Britain Business Council. The latter was authorised by and acted on behalf of the Consortium running EU SME Centre in China Phase II. The China-Britain Business Council, which is currently part of the Consortium running the EU SME Centre in China Phase III, has granted the rights of use of this report to the current Consortium. The report is therefore re-published and made available during the EU SME Centre Phase III.

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