3 Apr 2010

Electronic certification system goes to Asia

9:47 pm on 3 April 2010

An electronic certification system for food trading, developed by New Zealand and Australia, is being taken up in Asia.

China is trialling the internet-based system for its own production and exporting of food.

The system was developed by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority and the Australian Quarantine Service, to replace the paper certificates traditionally issued to help clear products at borders.

Food Safety Authority chief executive Andrew McKenzie says Chinese authorities hope it will stop fraud and misrepresentation of food products at the border.

He says China will require certification for all substantive imports and expects other countries to accept its electronic certification.

Mr McKenzie says the United States is also looking at switching to the system for New Zealand's meat certificates, and he expects Canada will also adopt a paperless system.