After years of discussion and much work by USA Rice, a phytosanitary protocol has been reached that will permit U.S. rice imports to China.
This long-awaited agreement means the technical aspects allowing rice shipments to China are in place. However, there is a compliance phase that must be completed before any rice is shipped, and the Chinese government must give the final go-ahead before actual shipments can enter the country. According to the USDA, if there are no unexpected delays, the first U.S. rice imports could be permitted by early spring of this year.
“We have been working with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for several weeks to identify U.S. mills and storage facilities interested in exporting to China and willing to comply with the insect tracking and record keeping requirements of the protocol,” said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings. “APHIS will soon contact these entities to arrange on-site inspections to assess compliance with APHIS’s workplan.”