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Taiwan-grown rice officially enters China

2012/07/27 22:56:58

Taipei, July 27 (CNA) A shipment of Taiwan-grown rice arrived in China Friday, the first batch under a new deal that lays out quarantine procedures for rice, Chinese media reported.

Eighteen metric tons of high-quality Taiken 9 rice arrived in Fuzhou in China's Fujian Province after setting off Wednesdayfrom Taichung, according to a Fujian-based news website.

The balance of the 100 metric tons of rice ordered by the state-owned China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) will be delivered to China in partial shipments between August and September.

Friday's delivery marked the first time Taiwan-grown rice had been exported to China under new plant quarantine regulations covering the rice trade between the two sides.

The regulations were worked out by Taiwan's Council of Agriculture (COA) and China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine after two years of negotiations.

According to COFCO, Fuzhou was chosen as the first import market for Taiwanese rice because the city has a system in place to expedite the quarantine and inspection process for imported foodstuffs.

Once the quarantine arrangement was settled, COFCO secured a import quota for rice that enables it to import Taiwanese rice at an import duty of 1 percent.

Taiwan's grain traders had exported small amounts of rice to China in the past via the "mini three links" between the Taiwan-held outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu and Xiamen and Mawei in China, according to the COA.

But because that rice was not included within a specific import quota, it was subject to a 65 percent import duty and a 17 percent value-added tax, limiting the amount shipped.

(By Huang Chi-kuan and Scully Hsiao)