Published: Friday September 14, 2012 MYT 2:43:00 PM
Updated: Friday September 14, 2012 MYT 2:47:13 PM
Bird’s nest ban: China agrees to lift radio frequency ID requirement
By JOSEPH SIPALAN
PUTRAJAYA: The Chinese government has agreed to take out mandatory use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on bird's nests exported by Malaysian swiftlet farmers, said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar.
He said his Chinese counterpart accepted his request for the removal of the mandatory requirement, following protests from certain groups in associations representing swiftlet farmers.
"The Chinese authorities, however, insist that we make sure we are able to manage the traceability of bird's nests produced in Malaysia, from the farm all the way to export," he said at a press conference at his office here.
With the removal of mandatory use of RFID, swiftlet farmers now have the freedom to use any of three traceability systems recognised by the Government. This includes RFID, barcode and quick response or QR code.
The protocol for entry of cleaned bird's nest into China is expected to be signed between the two countries on Sept 20.
Noh said his ministry would also set up an advisory board, that would be made up of representatives from his ministry and associations representing swiftlet farmers, to make sure communication lines remain open between both parties.
Some 250 tonnes of Malaysian bird's nests were exported to China before the country imposed a ban in July last year after finding high levels of nitrites.
However, in April this year, the Chinese authorities signalled that they might lift the ban after setting conditions, which included a nitrite content level not exceeding 30 parts per million (ppm).
Bird's nests exported to China were also required to have radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for the whole supply chain and be furnished with certificates from the Veterinary Department and the Health Ministry
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