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Inquiry: Can Frozen Coconut Meat From Thailand Be Cleared at Guangzhou Airport?

On November 13, 2021, we received a call from Thailand. The lady over the other side of the phone told us that they had an air shipment stuck at Guangzhou airport and wanted us helped cleared it. She then sent us an mail with below content and the relevant documents, including air waybill, phytosanitary certificate, certificate of origin, invoice and packing list, and product pictures. 

We have exported frozen coconut juice and frozen coconut meat to Guangzhou Airport but our customer could not pick it up because it stuck for check since yesterday. Could you assist us to clearance our products to our customer at Guangzhou Airport? and how much are you gonna charge for this service?

The shipment contained 4 cartons. There were 14 bags/54kg of frozen coconut water, 2 bags/10KG of frozen coconut meat inside. Both products were of Thailand origin. The lady was quite eager to get the shipment cleared soon. But unfortunately, the customs clearance was a mission impossible. 

Fresh/frozen fruits shall obtain Chinas inspection and quarantine access qualifications before exporting to China. Fresh coconut from Thailand is qualified to import to Chinese mainland, but frozen coconut meat of Thailand origin has not yet obtained the said qualifications which means it can not be imported into China. Unluckily, the shipment contained frozen coconut meat from Thailand , and because of that, it could not be cleared. As China customs do not allow partial abandon anymore, we could not just clear the frozen coconut meat and give up the frozen coconut meat either. The lady shall either get the shipment returned to Thailand or abandon it all.

We noticed another problem on the phytosanitary certificate and certificate of origin. The consignee on them was an individual, an natural person. Please note that to proceed formal customs clearance, the consignee shall be a registered company in Chinese mainland. Individuals can buy products of this nature and ship via air cargo, but they shall find a registered company in Chinese mainland to act as the consignee/buyer on the relevant documents, including but not limited to air waybill, phytosanitary certificate, certificate of origin, invoice and packing list.

But for this shipment, the key issue was that the frozen coconut could be be imported into China, which was a fact could not change immediately. The document problem could be fixed anyway. 

When export/import certain product to China for first time, we suggest consult with a China customs broker/China custom clearance agent to find out the relevant regulations, customs supervision conditions, required documents for customs clearance in China. If the lady had contacted us before shipping, she would have just sent the frozen coconut water and would have avoided losing money. 

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