|Mainland, Taiwan negotiators sign agreements of fishing, farm produce, product quality|
TAICHUNG, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese mainland and Taiwan negotiators Tuesday agreed to cooperate in farm produce quarantine and cross-Strait employment of fishermen, as well as to deal with different product quality standards.
Three agreements were reached at the talks between negotiators of the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), which handle cross-Strait issues on behalf of their respective authorities.
The ARATS and SEF talks, the fourth round since the ARATS and the SEF resumed negotiations in June last year after a 10-year suspension, began Tuesday morning.
Under the pact on farm produce quarantine, the two sides agreed to deal with the difference of food safety standards and set up a mechanism to cope with farm produce quarantine emergencies.
They promised "prompt information sharing, quick investigation and assistance to each other" in emergencies.
The mainland and Taiwan will inform each other of epidemic outbreaks related to farm produce and report regularly on safety problems found in farm produce exports and imports, such as toxic substances and harmful infestations.
They will also set up a system to trace farm produce quality across the Strait, which means Taiwan would assist mainland importers to investigate production and processing of its farm produce and vice versa.
Both sides will ease quarantine measures on produce that passes investigations, according to the pact.
Farm produce, especially fruit, is an increasingly important part of cross-Strait trade and many Taiwan farmers and agriculture firms invest in the mainland.
The ARATS and the SEF signed the agreement on the cooperation in standards measuring, inspection and certification in a bid to facilitate economic and trade contacts and improve the safety and quality of trade products.
It was hoped that the agreement would improve cross-Strait industrial cooperation, create a favorable investment environment and protect rights of consumers on both sides.
Under the agreement, the two sides agreed to work together on the establishment of common standards in key areas and construction of an information platform to share standards. Cooperation in legal measurement and information exchanges in measuring techniques and control would also be strengthened.
The two sides also agreed to carry out technical cooperation in inspection and measuring of product safety, and promote the establishment and implementation of certification and accreditation systems in new areas.
The two sides agreed to establish a bulletin system of goods safety information and intensify communication and coordination on handling unqualified goods.
They would set up a special working group separately to decide concrete plans and further cooperation, according to the agreement.
With an agreement signed after the talks, Taiwan fishing boat owners can hire people from the mainland to engage in offshore and deep-sea fishing and vice versa.
Crew of the same rank on board the same fishing boats from both the mainland and Taiwan are entitled to the same payment and labor protection measures, according to the pact.
Both sides agreed to respectively establish a system to allow fishing boat owners and crew file complaints and set up a mechanism to settle disputes on labor cooperation as well as guide business entities to settle labor disputes and emergencies.
The mainland and Taiwan will inform each other massive safety emergencies in a timely manner, jointly adopt measures to settle emergencies and severely punish business entities that violate the pact, it said.
The two sides also agreed to evaluate the execution of the pact regularly through work meetings and exchange of visits.
The agreements are supposed to take effect no later than 90 days after they are signed.