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China Drafts New Food Safety Law: Supply Chain Obligations

China is opening up to UK companies who see the rapidly growing market as being highly profitable. That said with a new FDA and new regulations, China can appear to be difficult from a regulatory and compliance point of view. The new regulations have, perhaps cynically been described as "one set of rules with a thousand interpretations" This is due to the fact that like all new regulation there will be a certain amount of inexperience on the part of individuals in the supply chain who may misinterpret what is or is not required. 

Many companies who exhibit in China are often thrilled at the enquiry level but rapidly realise that converting interest into hard business is seemingly impossible. Invariably this is because they have missed a vital first step which is to be "market ready" This means having all the compliance and labeling requirements dealt with before promoting the product. Simply, under the new regulations Chinese buyers are less likely to risk buying - even on a trial basis - any product that has not been proved to be acceptable.

We are delighted to have partnered up with Chemlinked - a Chinese company who specialise in providing information and a comprehensive compliance service for food and beverage suppliers. We act as their UK representative.

Chemlinked have a close working relationship with the various Chinese authorities who create legislation and police it and therefore are able to provide highly qualified and importantly most up to date information for food and beverage providers.

The start point is to complete a straightforward questionnaire giving details on the food that a company wants to export to China. We then provide a comprehensive list of compliance and labeling requirements and any inspection and testing that needs to be done and approved. We include the cost for meeting these requirements and a typical time frame. The time frame should not be underestimated as some product ranges can take many months to meet requirements.

We also provide a membership service that provides up to date information on any changes t almost as soon as they are produced. For any company serious about China as a market this service is invaluable.

Below is an article produced by Chemlinked giving an overview of some of the new prospective legislation that is being drafted at the moment.

Food Safety LawDraft regulations are an integral part of the legislative process. Chinese draft regulations are for the most part passed unchanged and as such provide a key opportunity for industry to get to grips with their pending regulatory obligations before they are legally binding. China’s much anticipated new food safety law is finally in its draft stage. A number of important changes to key articles will likely affect crucial points in China’s food supply chain. The impact this will have on global industry is a source of major concern. In the following article the most significant changes (or lack thereof) will be overviewed along with any of the associated changes to industry compliance requirements.

Regulatory Division of Labor: The roles that AQSIQ and CIQs play in supervision of imported and exported food safety are explicitly established in article No.86.

Premarket Safety Inspection throughout Supply Chain: Both imported food and food additives require quality inspection by CIQs according to relevant laws and regulations. Under the previous food law all imported food in compliance with Chinese national Standards were inspected at port and issued with CIQ approval certificates. This was the first and only real premarket regulatory barrier for foods. Under the revised law imported foods and food additives must be attached with supporting documentation through all stages of the supply Chain.

Registration of Food products without national standards , Food additives or Food related products: For imported foodstuffs without corresponding Chinese national standards, food additives or food related products under the current food safety law only domestic importers are permitted to file safety assessment dossiers with NHFPC for approval. Once the revision is finalized overseas exporters and manufacturers will also be permitted to submit these materials.

Upon successful registration, importation of these foodstuffs will require certificates of permission to be presented to CIQs for special check.

Supplier Obligations: Overseas exporters and manufacturers will need to ensure that every product exported to China meets the requirements of China’s national standards, laws and regulations. In addition, they will be liable for labeling contents and product manuals. Importers are suggested to establish audit systems for overseas suppliers based on responsibilities abovementioned.

Management of imported food issues: CFDA will supervise imported foods and food additives marketed in China, and will report to AQSIQ and local CIQs once serious food safety issues are detected. The CFDA will be responsible for product recalls while the AQSIQ will be responsible for blocking entry at port.

Filing and registration of overseas suppliers: Overseas exporters or their overseas agents are still required to complete filing with AQSIQ while overseas manufacturers shall complete registration with AQSIQ.Supplying falsified information will lead to the withdrawal of the registration status and subsequent publication. AQSIQ is advised to publish the list of registered suppliers on a regular base and is tasked with conducting field inspections of manufacturers exporting products to China.

Labeling requirements: Under the current FSL imported pre-packaged foods shall be attached with labels and instructions in Chinese, likewise in the revised FSL this mandatory requirement will be imposed on imported food additives.

Safety Database: Domestic importers are required to build an internal record system for food import and distribution, and relevant records kept for at least six months after product shelf life expires.

Quality Assurance: Conformity to China’s national/regional standards must be ensured by manufacturers. Any product failing to meet national standards or harmful to human health will be suspended and recalled immediately.

Individualized Formulation of Safety Requirements: AQSIQ is authorized to determine specific inspection requirements based on individualized evaluation of food safety management system of the exporting country/regions.


For full details of how to make your products "market ready" contact Adrian Allen at Anderen Ltd (adrian@china-trading.co.uk: 01782 326027)

Registered in England number: 4514202
VAT number: GB 900 7819 34
Copyright © 2017 Anderen Ltd
Registered in England number: 4514202 | VAT number: GB 900 7819 34 | Copyright © 2017 Anderen Ltd
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Anderen Ltd

85 Blurton Road
Stoke-on-Trent
ST3 2BS
Tel: 01782 326027