Exporting to China? Register with the GACC to comply with new food products regulation.

Exporting to China? Register with the GACC to comply with new food products regulation.

16 December 2021 | Xiangwen He, Senior Regulatory Advisor

Do you export food products to China?

This year, the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) released Decree No. 248 and Decree No. 249, with a view to regulate food manufacturers and producers. Their aim, as of 1 January 2022, is to demonstrate that food imported into China meets food safety requirements and instil confidence in the Chinese people. To show conformity with standards, manufacturers and producers are required to register their factories with GACC before they can enter the Chinese market. Currently, the CIFER registration login page is in Mandarin, however, it is hoped that the page will be available in English soon (via an EN icon).

Current versus new regulations

Previously, registration was required for imported food products that fall in the meat, aquatic, dairy, and edible bird nest categories, however, the new regulation has broadened this list to include all imported food products.

Registration can be done in one of two ways

Registration is important. If import declarations are submitted by unregistered manufacturers they will not be accepted. In relation to Decree No. 248 factories can be registered following two different methods depending on the level of safety risk and the type of foods being manufactured. Registration is divided into those that fit into high safety risk ‘category 1’ foods and low safety risk ‘category 2’ foods. The former includes manufacturers and processors of 18 food groups, who cannot apply for registration, but who need to be recommended to GACC by competent local authorities. The latter applies to manufacturers who can apply directly to GACC. Categorisation can change as safety risk alters. It is worth noting, that food manufactured after 1 January 2022 will need to be labelled with the GACC registration number, which should be visible on the ‘sales unit’ or the ‘transport unit’.

Once the application is complete

After registration, the GACC will undertake a written request for supporting documents, testing, and inspections. Certificates will be valid for a duration of five years.

Free 30 minute Campden BRI webinar

Our Food Law Advisor, Xiangwen He, explains the developments and their implications for your business in a webinar. Xiangwen gives information about who needs to register in relation to the categories detailed in the 248 Decree. She explains the latest developments and how they could affect your business.

How we can help

We can assist you with matters regarding food and drink exports to China. We have an experienced regulatory team that can offer extensive and authoritative advice and information to help you stay compliant with food regulations. Please read our food law alerts and labelling updates for support on current food law, as well as guidance and updates on planned and pending legislation. If you need regulatory support or want to find out more please contact regulatoryadvice@campdenbri.co.uk.

About Xiangwen He

Xiangwen joined the Regulatory Affairs Department at Campden BRI in November 2015. She is a Food Law Advisor, specialising in food legislation in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Malaysia and Macao. She is a native speaker of Chinese Mandarin and fluent in Cantonese and English.

Xiangwen worked in the Information Service Department in Campden BRI for 8.5 years. Apart from providing information services to clients, she also played an important role in liaison Chinese brewing member companies and Campden BRI, helping them solve technical and legislation enquiries. She is also involved in publications of Regulatory Updates in Beer, Malts and Wine.

Xiangwen has a Master’s degree in Management Science from Wuhan University and a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Informatics from Hunan Medical University both in China.

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