Deer Industry NZ and MPI working with China on clear rules for New Zealand deer velvet imports

Dec 19, 2023

Following notification by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) of the Chinese decision to change the arrangements for the importation of velvet in 2024, Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) and MPI officials have been working with Chinese counterparts to find and agree clear rules for the importation of New Zealand deer velvet into China.

To recap: From 1 May 2024 only dried velvet will be able to be imported as a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) into China, therefore New Zealand authorities are seeking agreement with their Chinese counterparts on the appropriate classification for frozen velvet imports.

The changes apply to velvet imported by China from all countries this is not solely about New Zealand imports.  DINZ believes these changes are being introduced to better align the import regime for TCMs in China which are overseen by several Chinese authorities.

This season’s New Zealand frozen velvet production and exports will need to be cleared into China before 30 April, but otherwise no change is being made to the Regulatory Control Scheme (RCS), nor to New Zealand’s velvet traceability requirements.

DINZ is working with New Zealand government officials in Wellington and in China and has received the assurance from MPI that it is treating this issue as a high priority. 

In the past week MPI officials in China met with their counterparts in Central government. We have received feedback that the meetings have been highly constructive, and that while the regulatory pathway is quite complex and will involve a number of different agencies in China, MPI is still aiming for a resolution to the question of velvet access before the 2024/25 export season.

New Zealand velvet exporters are also working with their customers in China who have a high interest in restoring access for frozen velvet, and they are raising this with their government contacts to seek a resolution to the issue.

While in the short-term the situation creates uncertainty, in the long-term we are looking to have in place clearer, better and more secure access into China for both dried and frozen velvet, as befits the high-quality product NZ produces for both categories. 

We will keep you informed as we receive more information from our contacts in China and the New Zealand government.

Innes Moffat


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