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Exporters who ship everything from agricultural products and chemicals to engine parts say they fear that conflicting information from Chinese custom officials about the new requirements could result in delays, added cost and lost business.
Since creating the list earlier this year, China has required that all containers be fumigated either at the country of origin with documentation or upon arrival in China. But exporters say some Chinese ports may accept the fumigation documents from abroad and others may not. Exporters from Brazil said they found that it depends on the local customs officers.
It is unclear whether China-bound containers should be fumigated in the U.S. or in China and if the rules will be applied across the board, said Peter Friedmann, executive director of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, a Washington-based trade body. U.S. exporters are also concerned that fumigation by the Chinese could damage cargo.
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