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Improving administrative decision-making in China: A delegation of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council made a high level mission to Europe

Administrative and legislative organs at central and local levels are responsible for the enforcement of about 80% of China’s laws, 90% of the local regulations, and nearly all of the administrative regulations in China. The National People’s Congress in its Third Session in early March 2015 and the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee in Autumn 2015 emphasised the importance of “comprehensively advancing the rule of law” in China. In an attempt to streamline administration and delegate power to lower levels, China is currently preparing the Administrative Procedure Law and drafting Regulations
SCLAO Delegation on 17th November 2015, Paris, France
on Administrative Law Enforcement Procedures. In this context, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council (SCLAO) is in charge of drafting the regulation for legal procedures of major administrative decision-making. Since 2011, the EUCTP II has supported an annual study assignment on administrative law for the SCLAO. In November 2015, a high-level delegation of ten officials from SCLAO’s central and provincial level offices attended meetings to deepen policy and technical exchanges with 17 institutions at various levels of administration, including the EU, the EU Member States, and regional level administrations, reflecting the multi-level governance system in the EU. During the meetings, procedures for administrative decision-making, including different features such as public consultation, external evaluation and risk assessments were discussed. Upon their return to China, the delegation prepared a comprehensive report on the lessons learned, highlighting the importance of public consultations and transparency of administrative decision-making to ensure administrative credibility and rule of law.

Reinforcing EU-China new tourism initiatives

China has recently become the world’s largest outbound tourism market as well as an important destination for inbound tourism. However both Chinese inbound tourism from the EU and outbound tourism to the EU are less significant that when compared with other countries and regions. There is therefore much room left for the development of the EU-China tourism industry.
In order to discuss these issues and promote the implementation of the EU-China Joint Statement on Tourism Cooperation signed in 2013, the EUCTP II organised a seminar on tourism cooperation. The seminar provided a platform for Chinese and European tourism stakeholders to discuss how to further promote inbound and outbound tourism to both destinations. European and Chinese representatives from institutions and businesses were given an opportunity to discuss the following topics: (i) Optimising investment and B2B matchmaking; (ii) Improving tourism services and promoting Tourism destinations between the EU and China. 
Christophe BESSE, of the European Union Delegation to China, opening remarks at the Seminar on Tourism cooperation, 20th January 2016, Beijing, China

Discussing China’s legal services opening issues

Since 2010, the EUCTP II has been working with the Chinese Ministry of Justice (MoJ) who are pushing forward reforms of China’s lawyer system. In early November 2015, EUCTP II organised a study visit to Europe for a delegation headed by the Department of Directing Lawyers and Notarization of MoJ which supervises and administers lawyers’ performances. The visit to Europe provided Chinese officials with deeper insights on the development of lawyers and legal services sector in the EU. On 10 December 2015, the EUCTP II organised a seminar in Beijing to disseminate the findings of this study visit to an audience of representatives from MoJ, Ministry of Commerce, Beijing Justice Bureau, various bar associations and the all China Lawyer’s Association. The seminar provided a platform to further discuss issues of China’s legal services opening up in the context of economic and investment reforms. SUN Yong, Director General of International Legal Cooperation Center of Ministry of Justice at the EU-China Workshop on Lawyers Practice and Law Firm Management, 10th December 2015,
Beijing, China

Supporting the on-going plurilateral environmental goods agreement negotiations

Monika HENCSEY, DG TRADE, European Commission, 18th November 2015, Beijing, China
Fourteen WTO members, including the European Union and China, launched plurilateral negotiations for an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) on 8 July 2014. This initiative aims to remove barriers to trade and investment in green goods, services and technologies. In October 2014, the EUCTP II organised a seminar on the liberalisation of environmental goods and services in Beijing, in order for Chinese officials to better understand the impacts and consequences of eliminating tariffs on a wide range of environmental goods. The seminar provided Chinese officials with the latest information on the issues being discussed during the EGA negotiation rounds in Geneva. It also offered a rare opportunity for both Chinese and European sides to explain their positions on some of the on-going issues being negotiated in Geneva. As a follow-up activity, the EUCTP II organised a seminar aimed at helping both the European and Chinese side to achieve substantial
progress at the negotiation table. The timing of the seminar correlated with the final preparations of the two EGA parties – EU and China – and positions prior to the last planned technical round of the EGA negotiations (11th round 30/11- 4/12/2015). Both parties were represented at the seminar by the head of negotiation-level – and on the Chinese side several ministries involved in the internal position and mandate coordination were also involved in the seminar.

EUCTP II supporting platforms for the harmonisation of EU-China standards

The detection of African swine fever (ASF) in Lithuania and Poland in January 2014 and latest cases in Ukraine in 2015 prompted China to continue to restrict pork imports from Poland and other parts of the EU. In May 2014, the EUCTP II and the Embassy of Poland organised a seminar to discuss with the Chinese competent authorities the management of the ASF situation by EU Member states and the EU sanitary authorities. Later, during a workshop held in October 2014, the Chinese referencelaboratory supporting ASF surveillance established a cooperation plan with
Experts simulating the risk assessment applied to international trade during the internship, 3rd November 2015, London the ASF reference laboratory of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in Spain. As a follow-up, within the context of ASF surveillance, the EUCTP II supported the cooperation between the Chinese academy of Agriculture Sciences (CAAS) and the Department of Epidemiology of the Royal College of Veterinary Medicine (RVCM) of London to enhance the capacity of MOA in disease control. For this purpose, the EUCTP II organised the study assignment EU standards and regulations to control animal disease for one expert from CAAS to spend 21 days in the RCVM to acquire new knowledge and skills on the use of risk assessment as an effective tool in disease surveillance programs.

In March 2012, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) of the People’s Republic of China and the Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) agreed to cooperate in the area of Laboratory Quality Assurance. An expert roundtable (activity A138-C3) and a study visit (activity A166-C3) were implemented in April and July 2012, respectively, to establish a roadmap to support the harmonisation and standardisation of animal health reference laboratories. As a result, the China Animal Health and Epidemiology Centre (CAHEC) and the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) agreed to a 3-year MOU to enhance CAHEC’s laboratory capacity to become a reference laboratory for brucellosis in China. Brucellosis is a disease with high prevalence in China affecting human and animal health and causing detrimental effects on animal origin food safety. Regional laboratories are essential to provide diagnostic services to regional veterinarians and livestock producers and these laboratories need to be accredited with Central laboratories. The accreditation process ensures that the diagnostic tools applied in the field do not deviate from standard procedures and generate information used in regional and national regulations to eradicate zoonotic diseases that represent food safety risks. In this context, a series of activities have been organised including study visits in France (A209-C3 A280-C3 and A319-C3), and consultations in China (A149-C3, A249-C3, A306-C3 and A386-C3). The consultation “Standardization of Animal Health Reference Laboratoriesand the study assignment Enhancing  Laboratory capacity to  support animal diseases surveillanceare the last activities of the current 2013-2015 ANSES – CAHEC MOU. In the consultation, five EU experts travelled to Qingdao to work with the Chinese experts in charge of the CAHEC Laboratory dedicated to zoonotic diseases. The experts facilitated hands-on training in CAHEC laboratories and assessed the progress of the CAHEC laboratory in its efforts to be accredited as a biosafety laboratory level 3. Additionally, the EU and the Chinese experts participated in a conference on Control and Prevention of Brucellosis, organised by CAHEC. A total of 60 Chinese experts from provincial veterinary bureaus, and the pharmaceutical and livestock industry attended the conference and gained an understanding on CAHEC’s laboratory capacity to enforce the control and surveillance programs for brucellosis. In December 2015, CAHEC and ANSES signed a new three-year MOU for cooperation in the area of laboratory biosafety.

EU experts preparing reagents for a ring trial at CAHEC brucellosis laboratory, 25th November 2015, Qingdao, China

Vaccine control in the ANSES laboratory in December 2015, Maison-Alfort, France

The EU’s food safety and animal health strategies are based on solid legislation and the principle that food safety starts at the farm and is maintained along the supply chain. Risk assessment is one of the EU pillars to maintain its high standards in animal origin food safety. In 2007, the Chinese Animal Health and Epidemiology Center (CAHEC) of MOA, was mandated as a key national center for animal health surveillance and risk analysis. Under the umbrella of the MOU signed in 2013 between CAHEC and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the
EUCTP II organised several activities (A301-C3, A304-C3 and A383-C3), to enhance CAHEC’s capacity on risk assessment. The interactive training “International standards for regionalization and zoning to mitigate risk during animal disease outbreaks” followed up on previous activities building further CAHEC’s capacity on risk assessment. During this activity, experts from CAHEC, the BfR and from the Centre for International Trade, Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), UK, facilitated a 3-day workshop to enhance the knowledge of the participants on how to assess risk during animal and foodborne disease outbreaks. Twenty eight MOA officials representing thirteen Chinese provinces participated in this event.
EU and Chinese experts during an interactive roundtable on risk assessment on 11th November 2015, Qingdao, China

Since June 2011, China has implemented trade restrictive measures associated to Schmallenberg disease (SBV) and is currently assessing the risk of this disease in relation to animal genetic imports, such as frozen semen from the EU. In the assignment EU regulations to govern animal waste disposal Chinese experts from MOA travelled to the UK to gain first-hand experience in policies related to surveillance of the SBV disease. The participants also acquired knowledge regarding the industrial implementation of policies and programs to manage waste derived from slaughterhouses, animal deaths and other animal by-products.

MOA experts assessing the sanitary management in an artificial insemination center on 27th September 2015,
Chester, UK

EUCTP II supports the harmonisation of agriculture trade standard in the context of the “One Belt One Road” Initiative and at the global level

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) organised a high level seminar in Chongqing in May 2015 to promote the "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) initiative and the integration of the transit of food products in the European (non-EU) and Eurasian countries. After this seminar, AQSIQ and the EU organised the seminarSeminar on food safety legislation and regulation,to promote the harmonisation of the trade standards related to agricultural products among all the countries involved in the in the OBOR initiative.An EU delegation, headed by the Commissioner of DG SANTE, chaired this seminar.This interactive
Experts simulating the risk assessment applied to international trade during the internship, 3rd November 2015, London event was attended by 80 participants from Chinese competent authorities and the EU and non EU diplomatic mission representatives. Presentations were made by AQSIQ, EC officials from DG SANTE and, representatives of the governments of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia. Participants gained knew knowledge about the control and surveillance systems implemented in the countries involved in the OBOR initiative to ensure the safety of the products traded in the region. A Joint statement was signed by China, EU, Belarus, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Russia to cooperate on agricultural product standards that impact international trade.

With the adoption of the new Food Safety Law in China, the draft framework concerning alcoholic beverage management and standards needs to be aligned to
Danish Dairy industry expert sharing knowledge during the roundtable, 15th November 2015, Beijing, China internationally recognised management and standard practices in order to avoid distortion in trade because of non-compliance issues. In addition, harmonisation of rules of both the EU and China on the labelling and certification of wines may benefit and improve trade. Within this context the EUCTP II study EU-China oenological Practices - Comparative Study  engaged Chinese and EU experts to compare the current oenological practices used in China and the EU thus, supporting the harmonisation of alcoholic beverages trade and providing a comprehensive reference tool for the understanding of the differences and similarities that exist in the governance of the Chinese and EU oenological practices.

The Chinese dairy industry has experienced considerable development during the last decade, aligning it to take a major role in the domestic market which has grown dramatically during this same period. The European Union (EU) and New Zealand (NZ), as the most important partners of China’s dairy industry, satisfy more than half of the demands of the dairy products and by-products consumed in China. In 2015, the EU cancelled the dairy quota system which has been in place for many years to ease excess capacity, and New Zealand proposed a new strategic direction of balancing environmental protection and dairy industry development, and both elements will have a considerable impact in the global milk market and hence in the development and consolidation of the Chinese dairy market. The Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC) invited all relevant government departments, think-tanks and enterprises from China, the EU and NZ to investigate the current global dairy market. The resulting technical report, Sustainable Development of the Chinese Dairy Industry, will serve as a platform to support the development of the Chinese dairy industry, its integration into global dairy supply chains and international standards. The roundtable EU-China roundtable on the global integration of the Chinese dairy industry was a platform to exchange ideas, identify specific themes, strategies, roles and responsibilities in order to develop a protocol to carry out the necessary research to complete this report . The Key theme discussed during the roundtable was “The role of innovation in the modernisation of the dairy industry in China and the use of international resources to promote the sustainability of the dairy sector” This roundtable was attended by 65 participants from the Chinese competent authorities and the dairy sector, the EU and NZ diplomatic community and dairy industry representatives. The participants from the international and domestic dairy sector reached consensus that more cooperation is required to have access to market information in order to develop strategies to promote the sustainability of the dairy sectors worldwide. 

In 2009, the three European Standardisation Organizations (ESO) and the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) agreed upon and signed a 4-way Framework Cooperation Agreement between Comité Européen de Normalisation

Mr. Cyrill DIRSCHERL presenting on Regulatory compliance, innovation & role of standards for electrical products covered by the Low Voltage Directive (LVD), 12th November 2015, Beijing, China
(CEN), Comité Européen de Normalisation Electrotechnique (CENELEC), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), and SAC. Under this agreement, the EUCTP II has provided technical support to SAC experts in international good practices on how to become involved in the international development of standards within the IEC and the ISO environment. Accordingly, the EUCTP II organised a Seminar on EU and China Regulatory Framework – Innovation, regulatory compliance and role of standardswhich brought EU and China Government officials and experts together to explain standards to industry. The activity leads to an improved Chinese representation at international level which will help in developing and adopting international standards in line with the adoption by the European Union of identical international standards.

On 16 May 2014, the European Commission and GACC signed the Strategic Framework on Customs Cooperation 2014-2017 (the SFCC). In the area of trade statistics, the overall aim of the SFCC is to “enhance mutual understanding on each other's external trade statistics, and where appropriate, to address discrepancies”. Accordingly, the SFCC calls for :“a joint report…which explains the reasons for the discrepancies between European and Chinese external trade statistics in goods including, where appropriate, recommendations on how to address these discrepancies” (SFCC, p.6). In this context, the EUCTP II supported a detailed analysis of the mirror study of 2009-2012 external trade statistics carried out under the previous EUCTP II Mirror comparison of EU-China External Trade Statistics, supplemented by newly available statistics for 2013-14.

The objective is to provide the JCCC with a concise, analytical report to support bilateral discussions on how to enhance mutual understanding of each other’s external trade statistics and, where appropriate, address discrepancies. The report went beyond a mere comparison of extracted external trade statistics and provides qualitative analysis of the possible underlying causes of asymmetries and the trends over the period.  The report was supplemented by a 3 days’ workshop for the EU-China Working Group, concerning the statistics of external Trade in Goods which was held at Eurostat to review findings, exchange views on technical issues and agree on recommendations for the EU-China Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC).

Meeting at Eurostat on 1st December 2015, Luxemburg
The United Nations Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) are leading work carried out at the international level to modernise the way the postal system interfaces with customs to improve security and efficiency. The EU is also actively developing new regulatory policies in consultation with other regions (the United States and Canada) and with public and private postal operators to adapt the postal system and customs to these growing challenges. These collaborative initiatives have resulted in major policy developments that will have a concrete legal and operational impact on customs cooperation between the EU and China. To lay the groundwork for the implementation of these reforms, DG TAXUD, GACC and SPB have sought technical assistance to enable expert exchanges on the legal, policy and operational implications of the changes to the SAFE Framework and EU legislation to improve parcel security and facilitation. A number of pilot programs have been carried out by the EU, the United States, Canada and the UPU to test the efficiency and effectiveness of institutional and

Participants at the seminar, 25th November 2015, Beijing, China
technical solutions for advanced data exchange between the postal system and customs. To assist the EU to share the outcomes of these pilots with Chinese customs and postal officials, the EUCTP II organised an EU-China Seminar on Parcel Security and Facilitationto facilitate the exchange of views on the costs and benefits on parcel security and facilitation. This seminar involved the participation of representatives from DG TAXUD, GACC, SPB, China Post, local customs officials, the United States Department of Homeland Security, the United States Customs and Border Protection, the UN Universal Postal Union, EU Member State Customs officials, and public and private EU postal operators.

Combatting Commercial Fraud & Smuggling top
In 2014, the European Commission and the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) entered into cooperation to tackle illicit trade in waste between the two regions. A Working Group on Waste was formed to map the nature and extent of trade in waste, both licit and illicit, and to make recommendations for enhanced cooperation to tackle the problem. Illicit trade in waste can have serious environmental and public health impacts and also undermines fair business. The seizures of illegal waste shipments in the EU bound for
export highlights the need to enhance preventative measures. To support the second meeting of the EU-China Working Group on Waste, the EUCTP II organised an EU-China seminar on Tackling Illicit Trade in Waste, focusing on good practice industry and government cooperation to prevent diversion of waste into illicit trade flows. The seminar was also aimed to share good practices between EU and Chinese government (particularly customs) and private sector stakeholders in preventing and responding to illicit trade in waste. The seminar included 50-60 participants in total, drawn from DG TAXUD, GACC, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, EU Member State customs administrations and representatives of the EU and Chinese industry in priority sectors, including paper, plastics, metals and electronics.

Mr. Marko Latti, Head of Sector, DG TAXUD, 10th November 2015, Guangzhou, China