We, Ministers and representatives from China and ASEAN Member Countries as well as ASEAN Secretariat, who attended “China-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine”, the theme of which is “Strengthen Import and Export Food Safety Management and Cooperation, Protect Consumer’s Rights and Benefits” held during 28-29 October 2007 with the sponsorship by General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ) in conjunction with the 4th China-ASEAN Expo, have extensively exchanged information on China’s and ASEAN Member Countries’ food safety laws & regulations, administrative systems, and cooperative relationship. The meeting has enhanced our mutual understanding, and strengthened our cooperation.
We reached eight points of common understanding on strengthening China-ASEAN food safety cooperation, promoting food trade, and protecting consumer’s rights as follows:
- We all recognized that food safety is of great importance to consumer’s health, trade development and social stability. We all agreed that food safety issues are the responsibility of all parties, hence support, cooperation and exchanges in the field of food safety need to be established and continuously strengthened.
- We also recognized that laws and regulations are of great importance to food safety assurance. Therefore, we will encourage the active information exchanges of food safety laws, regulations, standards and information in line with the principle of transparency, thus enhancing mutual understanding and trust.
- We recognized the importance of strengthening the exchange of food safety managerial and technical expertise to ensure food safety. We agreed that we will provide more opportunities for such exchange to the extent possible, so as to improve food safety management and technical assurance capabilities.
- We recognized that information communication is of great importance to ensure food safety and promote food trade. We agreed to designate contact points for notification of information on food safety promptly and the list is to be updated as necessary.
- We agreed that notification on any new food safety and sanitary and phytosanitary measures on food importation to be transmitted promptly through respective contact points unless under emergency situation. The notification should include the scope, description, reason and period as well as necessary information to assist the notified party to deal with the issue accurately.
- We agreed that the responsibility for ensuring food safety should be provided by exporting countries. We will verify and clarify the food safety reports, food alert or an allegation on food safety to ensure risks to consumers’ health is not compromised.
- We agreed to strengthen cooperation to combat illegal food trade and to prevent against intentional creation of food safety adversities.
- We agreed that we will meet at least every two years by senior(DG level)officials in charge of import and export food safety to review the progress, achievements and difficulties in the year passed, and to work out a working plan at least every two years.
This statement is reached and pronounced at the end of the first “China-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine” on 29 October,2007 in Nanning, China.