Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
662. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 257 of 2 February 2016, the progress which has been made to ease these restrictions since that date; if he has discussed this matter with his Chinese Government counterpart; the role he has taken to date to persuade the Chinese authorities to lift these restrictions; if his attention has been drawn to the devastating impact the imposition of these rules is having on the industry here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4617/17]
In my reply to the Deputy on 2 February 2016 I set out the details of steps which had been taken up to that point by the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) to seek a resolution to the issue with the Chinese import authorities and the Irish live crab exporters on this issue. The SFPA continues to work on a technical level with Chinese import control officials on this supported by Embassy colleagues in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. A visit to Irish Crab production and state laboratory facilities by Chinese import control officials was hosted in May 2016 following on from which there has been reciprocal technical correspondence between SFPA and their Chinese counterparts on the matter. In September 2016 SFPA formed part of the trade mission which I led to Asia where this matter was again explored. I understand that the Chinese officials are currently reviewing an action plan which Ireland has submitted.