New Zealand meat exports to China to resume after paperwork glitch held up supplies on docks

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand authorities say exports of frozen lamb, beef and mutton to China should resume next week after a paperwork problem resulted in hundreds of tons of meat getting stranded at Chinese docks.

New Zealand’s Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy said Thursday that ministry officials were to blame for making certification mistakes which have now been resolved. New Zealand exporters changed the branding on their certificates in March after government departments merged.

Exporters say China stopped accepting any of their frozen meat two or three weeks ago and it has piled up on the docks there since. Because the meat is frozen, it hasn’t spoiled and should now get clearance for sale and consumption.

China is New Zealand’s largest export market and its largest buyer of sheep meat.