China has not approved any new Brazilian meat plants for export this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, an official at Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry told Reuters, adding that all approvals were on hold until the crisis eases, reported Reuters.
The freeze comes despite the fact that Brazil and China implemented a new system in January intended to speed up approvals, said Orlando Leite Ribeiro, international affairs secretary at Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry.
The ministry tried to get in touch with Chinese counterparts early this year to begin using the system, but at that time, as the coronavirus threat emerged, China’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) was not working normally, Ribeiro said.
“What is happening is a case of temporary neglect. China was affected first by COVID-19 and when China started to get back to normal, Brazil was affected by COVID-19,” Ribeiro said in a phone interview late on Monday. New approvals aren’t likely until Brazil’s outbreak eases, which could take months, he said.