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China change rules on iron-ore imports

‘This is a warning’: China issues ANOTHER threat as it announces new checks on Australia’s iron ore as trade tensions escalate again after Canberra backed COVID-19 probe

China has changed customs rules for iron-ore after taxing barley and banning beef imports following Australia’s calls for an inquiry into coronavirus.

The new rules appear to make trade easier because mandatory inspections for every batch have been replaced by optional checks at the request of the importer. 

But analysts said the new system leaves the door open for Australian exporters to be targeted for extra checks compared with competitors.

China has changed customs rules on iron-ore imports after introducing an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley banning four Aussie beef suppliers

Yu Lei of Liaocheng University told state-controlled newspaper the Global Times: ‘This is another implicit warning to Australia.

‘It is associated with how Australia has acted, and a general decline in demand for steel on the global level.’ 

Iron ore is Australia’s biggest export to China worth $63 billion in 2019.    

The new rules, which come into effect on June 1, state that customers officers can conduct safety checks for toxic elements ‘when necessary’.  

The General Administration of Customs said the changes were meant to ‘streamline’ the process and ‘facilitate trade’.

One trade at Lianyungang Port told the Global Times that the changes would not be used to target Australia. 

‘I see it as a value-added service that will improve efficiency and inventory turnover at ports,’ he said.