As some of our customers may be aware, China suffered a infant milk formula scandal in 2008, resulting in 6 infants dying from kidney damage and over 54,000 babies being hospitalised. In total, 300,000 babies and infants were said to have been affected.
The reason for such problem was that the milk powder had been adulterate with melamine. The chemical appeared to have been added to milk to cause it to appear to have a higher protein content. In a separate incident four years before, watered-down milk had resulted in 13 infant deaths from malnutrition.
The issue raised concerns about food safety and political corruption in China, and damaged the reputation of China’s food exports, with at least 11 countries stopping all imports of Chinese dairy products.
But whilst exports may have suffered, the import market saw a considerable growth, with people from other countries seeing an opportunity to send milk powder from their countries over to worried parents in China. This saw many question the ethics of this, and in May 2013, a baby milk trafficking investigation was launched into networks which were bulk-buying formula and shipping it to China where it was being sold at premium prices, sometimes at a mark up over 100%. Some countries were also seeing a persistent shortage of certain brands of baby formula which were being linked to so-called “baby milk runners”.
Many of Parcel2Ship’s customers send milk powder over to China, but most question how much they are allowed to send. Whilst there is no limit on the amount you send, each parcel cannot exceed 30KG (as per ParcelForce’s standard regulations), and to avoid paying duty on milk powder you can only send a maximum of 5KG. This works out as an average of 6 cans at 800g each
If you are in doubt, please call Parcel2Ship’s Customer Service Team on 0845 5190185