Training, Labeling and Partnerships at the 2011 China Seafood and Fisheries Expo

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FDA compliance training, food labeling and U.S./China partnerships were all topics of interest at this year's China Seafood and Fisheries Expo, according to Rick Quinn, Senior Associate Attorney at FDAImports.com

"Leaders and executives are asking for training and really want to help their teams develop a strong knowledge base, but there are few easily-accessible tools available for them to get what they need" - Rick Quinn

The China Seafood and Fisheries Expo concluded its 16th annual exposition on November 3rd, drawing record numbers of attendees and exhibitors to the Qingdao International Convention Center. The show’s attendance was up 50% from the previous year at Dalian, signaling a sizeable interest in both exports from China and the seafood industry. Benjamin England, Founder and CEO of FDAImports.com and ExportToUsa.com.cn, exhibited at the show along with the American and Chinese offices of his firm. Additionally, Mr. England and Senior Associate Attorney, Rick Quinn, presented a 3-hour seminar series on topics specifically geared for Chinese seafood manufacturers and exporters.

Training

“We’re seeing a desire for training like never before,” said Mr. Quinn, commenting on what he saw as an emerging trend in Chinese seafood exports. “Leaders and executives are asking for training and really want to help their teams develop a strong knowledge base, but there are few easily-accessible tools available for them to get what they need” said Mr. Quinn. FDAImports.com and ExportToUsa.com.cn distributed numerous whitepapers, statistics and articles at the show which were warmly received by international traders and manufacturers alike.

Food Safety and Labeling

“It’s not surprising to hear horror stories from Chinese companies about troubles they have had with FDA over their labels,” said Mr. Quinn. “Getting your label compliant with FDA regulation is difficult if English is your first language and you’re already familiar with the agency. It is even more challenging if you’re not a native English-speaker or are importing a product for the first time.” Mr. Quinn pointed out 3 key areas where Chinese companies tend to get into trouble with the FDA in regard to their labels:

  • Calling a seafood by the wrong name: For example, calling Basa “Catfish” is a common mistake that importers make in the seafood industry.
  • Failing to declare allergens correctly: Chinese companies often make mistakes when it comes to declaring allergen ingredients and warnings in the correct locations or even at all.
  • Country of Origin declaration and Net Quantity Statements: A food label must properly declare where a product is from, who imported it and how much of it is contained in the package.

What Chinese Companies Want to Know

“Import alerts are a growing concern for Chinese food companies,” said Mr. Quinn. “When a manufacturer learns it is on FDA import alert they often do not know what to do to get off of the list. Many companies do not know how FDA’s import alerts work or why it’s a problem until they have cargo on FDA automatic detention or find worse, they found out their shipment had been refused by FDA.” Mr. Quinn and the team at FDAImports.com and ExportToUsa.com.cn regularly represent International companies to get them off import alert and to get product released from FDA detention or refusal. Mr. Quinn also stated that Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) compliance was a much-discussed topic for Chinese companies as well as the ongoing question of food safety and GMP.

Mr. Quinn and Mr. England led 2 seminars at the Expo, one titled “10 Steps To Import Seafood Into the United States” and the other “The Top 5 Mistakes Chinese Seafood Packers Make.” Attendees were enthusiastic about the simple approach of the seminars that included practical steps and useful statistics. This is the second time the team has exhibited and presented at the expo.

Sources:
http://www.chinaseafoodexpo.com
http://www.fdaimports.com

Rick Quinn is Senior Associate Attorney at FDAImports.com, a firm of FDA consultants and affiliated attorneys practicing at the intersections of complex administrative law and regulations that impact international traders in highly regulated commodities.

To contact the FDAImports.com team please visit http://www.fdaimports.com or call (410) 740-3403. Press Contact: Jon Barnes, jrbarnes(at)fdaimports(dot)com. For Chinese journalists please contact: 或联系 Shelly Li 0532-86676270, 邮箱 sli(at)fdaimports(dot)com.

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