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China to Compile Pesticide MRL Standard for Imported Agricultural Commodities

China is compiling a technical guidance on how to establish pesticide MRLs for imported agricultural commodities

On 24 and 25 Apr 2018, an official training course on developing national pesticide MRL standard was held in Jiangsu. The event was organized by MoARR and was attended by ICAMA’s head agronomist Ms. Ji Ying. Ms. Ji revealed that the new version of GB2763 will be published this year and that a technical guidance on MRL establishment targeting imported agricultural products would also be drafted.

Since the MoA/MoARA formed the National Committee on Pesticide MRL standard in 2010, all previous MRL standards have been integrated into GB2763-2012 and renewed biennially. The number of MRLs has dramatically increased from 873 in 2012 to 4140 in 2016 and a list of low risk pesticides exempted from MRLs was newly introduced in GB 2763-2016, which is an important alignment with international best practice. More developed countries have already developed a large number of stringent national MRLs covering all homegrown commodities but a very low/default MRL value for imported commodities.

Although China standardized and accelerated pesticide MRL development in recent years, the number of national MRLs is disproportionately low compared to the number in developed countries. During development of any new MRL standards for imported commodities China will need to carefully balance multiple concerns including impact on food supply, protection of domestic agriculture, protection of consumer safety as well as operating within the WTO boundaries and avoiding trade barrier disputes.

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