In part 2 of the Anderen series, Selling Food to China can be Childs' Play we will expand on the complex subject of compliance, which should be regarded as the first piece of the puzzle for those who are really serious about succeeding in China.
You will remember from the introduction that we compared the way to successfully approach selling food to China is a bit like doing a jigsaw - OK a complex one, but it has a basic process
Compliance should be seen as the starting point – just like sorting and fitting all the straight edges together when you begin a jigsaw
Why is compliance so important? Firstly if your product is not compliant then you are simply not market ready and you cannot sell anything.
Buyers will show initial interest but will not place an order because your products are not approved in China.
Should you delay sorting out compliance until you see if you get any results?
We understand that people may look at this up-front investment as being like a chicken and egg situation. Certainly some of the other pieces you need to consider in the overall puzzle fall into this category, but compliance certainly isn’t one of them. If you are serious about winning in China you have no choice on this one – you do it or you forget the market.
Since2014 China has introduced a host of regulations to ensure food safety. These rules are being increasingly policed in a very robust way.
So let’s have a look at the things that you need to have in place
These will include Exporter registration, labeling, testing, Inspection, customs clearance – all fully documented – confusing? Don’t worry our team can deal with all these for you professionally, efficiently and relatively quickly
There are seemingly endless complex regulations and documentation needs to be in Chinese.
Step one is to formerly register as an exporter – this will ease the way through Customs clearance
Next all products need to be labelled before dispatch. Chinese labels need to have approved content, be of a set size and use a specified font. You can have a completely Chinese label (but keep your English identity because that carries a lot of weight) or you can have a self-adhesive label attached to your existing packaging.
Labels need to be formerly accepted by a compliance officer
Product testing will need to be done as part of compliance. The test requirements are not much different than you are used to already, but it is worth remembering that some additives that you can use in Europe are not approved in China so may need to be changed.
Goods are also likely to be tested on arrival into China as part of a Customs inspection.
Having all this in place with the correct and up to date documentation makes customs clearance much easier. It is worth remembering that a recent report from the Chinese authorities showed almost 4000 imported food consignments were confiscated by Customs in 2014 for non-compliance.
You may heard that you can sneak product in under the radar without getting involved with compliance. These loopholes are being rapidly closed and trying but failing can mean you could be officially black listed making China an uphill struggle assuming you are not banned altogether
However the key thing is that without compliance serious buyers will simply not place orders
How does the system work?
You provide us with a detailed list of the products that you want to sell to China
We then produce you a list of compliance requirements together with what you need to provide, a time line and the cost
How long does all this take?
Typically the average is around 1 month from the start point although some product range scan take considerably longer and need a more bespoke approach.
What does it cost?
Compliance carries a substantial cost, but this should be seen as part of your initial investment in the market
It will depend on the number and type of products that you want to sell and is always subject to a quotation.
If you are serious about being part of the fastest growing food market in the world contact Anderen Ltd today. Our team of specialists is ready to help you to build your China business based on solid foundations.
We would like to send you a free copy of our guide to selling food and beverage to China. Simply visit our web site and complete the request form
You can find the whole series of our guides to selling food in China on the Anderen Ltd channel on YouTube
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Tel: 01782 326027