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Miners say China's changes to its inspection processes for iron ore imports is a positive development because it will streamline shipments, even though some analysts suggested it could be used to block Australia's most important export.
Amid trade tensions between the two countries, China's Customs authorities said in a notice the new supervising rules, which take effect on June 1, mean customs officials would inspect iron ore at the request of the trader or importer.
This replaces the previous system, in which customs officers conducted mandatory on-site inspections of iron ore batch by batch.
The notice said that "when necessary", customs could conduct toxic element checks.
Analysts in China were divided over whether the new rules were targeting Australia or not. Some said the changes meant less inspections for iron ore overall.
“In the past customs would check every batch of iron ore but now they will only check at the request of importers," MySteel analyst Xu Xiangchun said.
This article first appeared on www.afr.com
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