Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye says the Government is working with Chinese officials to make the rules on meat exports clearer.
In late June China introduced new certification rules for exporters, but backdated them to 1 June.
Ms Kaye said New Zealand officials only learned about the changes on Thursday when a meat shipment was held up at the port of Dalian in China.
Ms Kaye says the two countries are looking at developing a memorandum of understanding so New Zealand can be alerted more quickly when the rules change.
Meat Industry Association chief executive Tim Ritchie says the rule changes are unlikely to create extra costs for exporters and the delay is not a major problem.
"From time to time I think it's probably understandable that there will be speed bumps because in all of these things sometimes there is a little bit of ambiguity."
Earlier this year there were delays for several weeks because of problems with documentation.