Hong Kong: Revised Residue Limits for Heavy Metals and Pesticides Spurs Demand for US Ginseng
Hong Kong is revising its residue limits for heavy metals and pesticides in Chinese herbal medicines in adherence with China’s Pharmacopoeia (2020 Edition). Effective December 31, 2023, ginseng products will be subject to revised limits on heavy metals. Stricter limits for DDT (pesticides) will be conducted in two phases starting December 31, 2026. In anticipation of these changes, Hong Kong traders have responded by closing or relocating their ginseng processing plants out of Hong Kong as some suppliers are expected to face difficulties complying with the new limits. However, the trade is sourcing products from the United States as Hong Kong importers have higher confidence that U.S. ginseng will meet the stricter residue limits on DDT. Consequently, in the last two years, there has been an increased import demand for U.S. ginseng.