By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Significant Market Access Developments during visit of Chinese Vice Minister - Direct export of Horses facilitated under New Agreement

Following on the successful trade mission of Minister Coveney to China in April, a second Chinese Vice Minister, Wei Chuanzhong, from the Chinese Inspection and Quarantine Service (AQSIQ) has visited Ireland this week, accompanied by a very senior delegation.  The AQSIQ Ministry is the key player, along with the Ministry for Agriculture, in determining market access for agriculture-related products into China.  His visit comes just three weeks after the visit of Vice Minister, Goa Hongbin from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.  There were significant market access developments during Vice Minister Wei’s visit to Ireland.

Minister Simon Coveney and Vice Minister Wei today signed a protocol agreeing detailed rules for the establishment, within Ireland, of quarantine facilities for the transit of Irish horses, direct from Ireland to China.  This will facilitate the direct export of horses to China and reduce, significantly, the costs associated with such exports.  It will greatly assist in developing this new Irish export market, for the Irish thoroughbred industry.  Minister Coveney said that it is expected the first consignment of thoroughbred horses to China is to take place later this year under the new arrangements.

In addition, a protocol on the export of Irish porcine semen was also signed, facilitating, for the first time, the export of fresh porcine semen from Ireland to China. Ireland is to the forefront in the development of genomics and pedigree breeding stock.  Minister Coveney stated that "this agreement arises from the demand for superior porcine genetics in China and presents important trade opportunities for Ireland.  China currently accounts for 50% of the world’s pig production".   

In relation to the potential opening up of the Chinese Beef market for Ireland, Minister Coveney said detailed technical discussions took place between his Department and the AQSIQ delegation over the past two days on the control regime in place for the production of beef in Ireland.  The Ministers jointly signed a formal agreement on the detailed operation of a joint technical working group, comprising officials from his Department and AQSIQ. This group will further consider the scientific basis for restoring market access. The process for lifting the ban on Irish beef to China requires the agreement of both the Ministry of Agriculture and AQSIQ.

Concluding, Minister Coveney said that this visit had helped to further strengthen the recognition, internationally, of Ireland’s reputation of a country with a high animal health status. "I believe the high veterinary and food safety controls in Ireland which, are recognised internationally, will help to continue to grow our exports of our bloodstock, agri-food, seafood and related exports to China.  We have much to offer the Chinese consumer and visits such as this one not only help Chinese officials to gain an on-the-ground understanding of Irish systems and controls, but also provides an invaluable opportunity to discuss common areas of interest at a political level, in an informal atmosphere.  In the past few days we have made substantive progress in a number of areas, and built another bridge of friendship and trust, which will, ultimately, provide a basis for the further development of mutually beneficial trading relationships between our countries."

Note for Editors

MOU’s and Protocols

1.  Action Plan on Mutual Co-Operation between the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and DAFM on the Agri-food and Fisheries Sectors. 

2.  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Chinese Inspection and Quarantine Service (AQSIQ) on sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues, including the setting up of a working group on SPS issues.

3.  MOU with the Ministry of Agriculture on mutual cooperation in the agri-food and fisheries areas, building on the expressed wish of Chinese Vice President Xi that Ireland and China develop deeper cooperation in agriculture.

4.  MOU between the Department and the Chinese Inspection and Quarantine Service (AQSIQ) on the export of Horse feed to China.

5.  Renewal of Bovine semen protocol between DAFM and ASQIQ.MOU between the Marine Institute and Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences which will build on important collaborative research work which has already been undertaken between the two institutes.  Protocol on the direct export of horses from Ireland to China.Protocol on the export of fresh Porcine Semen to China.

6.  MOU on the setting up of a technical working group on market access for Irish beef.

7.  Protocol on the direct export of horses from Ireland to China.

8.  Protocol on the export of fresh Porcine Semen to China.

9.  MOU on the setting up of a technical working group on market access for Irish beef.


 added 15.6.12

Pictured above:  Minister Coveney with Chinese Vice Minister Wei Chuanzhong


Date Released: 15 June 2012