Exports of Fishery Products to China

Exports to China require some registration steps prior to applying for the specific Chinese health certificates and the Chinese certificate of origin. These can take some time to complete.

Information Notice to Trade - Mandatory for Exporters to China - Update user information on CIFER

CIFER Guide Modifying Existing Registration

Information Notice to Trade - Changes to Registration for Export to China - as of 19.01.2022

Covid-19 related Trade Advisory (January 2021) re. exports of seafood to China

There is a Covid-19 related elevated regulatory compliance risk in exporting seafood to China.  Chinese import authorities have signalled to importing countries their intention to assimilate Covid-19 related controls into their import official controls for seafood.  This includes:

  • Proposed changes to export health certification formats for seafood to include Covid-19 attestations in respect of the product being imported to China;
  • Enhanced levels of Covid-19 related tests being currently performed upon consignment arrival in China on food imports and food packaging prior to their clearance onto the market;
  • Carrying out of remote video audits of overseas suppliers from importing countries;
  • Proposed changes to the methods of registrations and recording of exporters that are approved to export seafood to China.

We are working to keep this website up-to-date. Check back regularly, as information will be updated as it becomes available. 
If you have any queries, please contact

Registration Procedures

General Administration of Customs China (GACC) China Import Food Enterprises Registration (CIFER) registration process:

The link to the new registration system (CIFER) is the following

The current process for an Irish Food Business Operator (FBO) to register as an approved exporter to China is as follows:

  1. FBO should create an account by following the above link and clicking ‘create an account’.
  2. FBO should apply for registration by logging in to the registration system using the username and password provided when creating their account.
  3. The FBO will have to fill in the information requested by the system. A step-by-step guide has been provided by the Chinese authorities and can be found here.
  4. Once all information has been inputted, the FBO should click ‘Submit’. This sends the application to the SFPA for review.
  5. After reviewing the information submitted by the FBO, if all is present and correct, the SFPA will send the application to GACC for approval.
  6. GACC will accept applications which have submitted all of the necessary documentation. Otherwise, GACC will request additional information or reject applications containing false information (the SFPA will be notified of this by GACC)
  7. GACC will carry out an audit of the FBO applying for registration. This audit may take the form of a paper audit, video audit or on-site audit
  8. GACC will evaluate the report of the audit and decide whether the registration should be approved or not.
  9. GACC will notify the SFPA of their decision, the SFPA will in turn notify the applying FBO of the outcome.


The Chinese authorities have also introduced a requirement that registrations of exporters to China need to be renewed every 5 years

Updated Access list of GACC Registered Establishments

Any registration queries or any further queries regarding registration may be addressed to


Registration of Live Brown Crab Exporters

A list of live brown crab exporters has been submitted to the GACC in China to include exporters who have expressed an interest in sending live crab to China.

For any new exporters who would like to be included on the list, please contact Trade Compliance and Internal Audit Unit at the following email address:

Certification of products for export to China

Exports to China require one of the following two Chinese health certificates, depending on the export product.    

  1. Chinese Health Certificate for Fish and Fishery Products
  2. Chinese Health Certificate for Live Aquatic Animals

Separate health certificates must be used for these two categories:  

  1. Fish and Fishery Products - includes all species of fish, crustaceans and other forms of marine life (not including live fish, crustaceans, molluscs and echinoderms) and any parts or products thereof
  2. Live Aquatic Animals - live fish, crustaceans, molluscs and echinoderms

These health certificates are available on application from your local SFPA port office.  

A bi-lingual version of the certificate of origin is also available for use when required.    

For Irish export consignments of seafood to China after 31 December 2015, all health certificates require information to be typed on the certificates while using the new health certificate numbering format previously agreed.  

Mixtures of aquacultured and wild fishery products    

This requirement applies in cases where a Chinese health certificate is required for a consignment containing a mixture of both aquacultured and wild caught fishery products. (For example, it could include both smoked salmon products and cooked crab products)

In these cases the Chinese authorities have requested that separate relevant Chinese health certificates be issued for the one consignment as follows:    

  • Health certificate to certify the aquacultured part of the consignment  
  • Health certificate to certify the wild caught part of the consignment

Approved products for export to China  

As the Chinese authorities maintain a list of approved products for export to China, the Chinese authorities have advised that exporters should contact the relevant border inspection posts (CIQ) in China prior to exporting to ensure that their products can be successfully imported.    

Testing requirements for consignments of crab

Please see the following Trade Notice regarding the testing requirements for consignments of live and processed crab exported to China.

Chinese labelling requirements

The GACC registration number of FBO as well as their Irish approval number should be marked on the internal and outer packaging of the product for any consignments being exported to China.


Chinese labelling requirements for certain fishery products  

The format of the name for the following fishery products set out below should be the only format used in any Chinese health certificates covering these exports.  

冻方鲷 (Boarfish)  

冻生海螺 (带壳) Frozen raw whelk (with shell)  

北蛾螺(熟冻)    Frozen cooked whelk    

Guidance information

Please see the following link for additional guidance information for establishments producing fish and fishery products for export to China.    

Information is available on the National Food Safety Standards for Maximumn Levels of Contaminants in Food and Food Additive use applicable in China:

For any enquiries regarding exports to China, please email