Before Importing Food into China: 10 Things You Need to Know

放大字体  缩小字体 Date:11 Dec 2019  Source:Global Foodmate  Writer:Global Foodmate  Views:542
1. What is this about?

To import food into China need to understand and comply with requirements under the Food Safety Law of the People’s Republic of China (Presidential Order No. 21). In recent years, China has been continuously reforming and optimizing the imported food supervision model. FOODMATE has summarized 10 things that need to be prepared before importing, for your convenience of import.

2. Who need to read it?

Any business intending to bring food into China. For example, an import broker or agent importing food into China or a business based in another country or region intending to import food into China.

3. Who do you need to do?

(1) Confirm whether food is allowed to be imported into China

Before im<em></em>porting Food into China: 10 Things You Need to Know from Global Foodmate

(2) Confirm if food production enterprises need to be registered

According to the Catalogue for the Implementation of Registration of Overseas Manufacturers of imported Foods, if the food you import belongs to meat, aquatic products, dairy products (including milk-based formula for infants and young children), and bird’s nest products, then the production enterprise of such food are required to register with the Chinese Customs. China Customs announced the registration list of foreign food production enterprise on the official website. It should be noted that, on November 26, 2019, the General Administration of Customs of China issued a revised draft of the Regulations on the Administration of Registration of Overseas Manufacturers of imported Foods (see interpretation) If such draft is implemented, then China’s management mode on the registration of imported food production enterprises will have a change from following catalogue management to classification registration management.

(3) Confirm whether the imported food meets the national food safety standards of China

imported food shall conform to the national food safety standards of China. Food covered by general standards or product standards in the national food safety standard of China, food announced or approved by relevant departments of the State Council, and premixed food mixed with various raw materials according to existing food safety standards are not imported foods without corresponding national food safety standards.

(4) Confirm whether food raw materials are allowed to be used in China

Food raw materials shall be provided with the characteristics of food, meet the nutritional requirements, be nontoxic and harmless, and do not cause any acute, sub-acute, chronic or other potential hazards to human health. At present, the materials that China can use as food raw materials mainly include common food raw materials, as well as approved novel food ingredients, ingredients that are traditionally both food and traditional Chinese medicine, health food raw materials, strains that can be used for food, food additives, nutritional fortification substances, etc. You need to confirm whether the raw materials of the imported food are allowed to be used in China.

(5) Confirm whether it is a special food that needs to be registered or filed

If China has registration or filing requirements for special foods, it must complete the registration or filing with the State Administration for Market Regulation before the import. At present, the product formulation of imported formula food for special medical purposes and infants & young children formula milk powder shall be registered. For health food, the health food using raw materials other than the list of raw materials for health food and health food imported for the first time shall be registered. However, if the health food imported for the first time belongs to the category of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients supplementation, it does not need to be registered and shall be filed.

(6) Confirm that importers and exporters of imported food have completed the filing

All importers and exporters of imported food to China need to apply to China Customs for filing.

(7) Confirm whether an official certificate issued by the competent authority of the exporting country or region is required

When importing meat, dairy products, cereals, some beverages and other products, the importer shall submit the official certification documents (such as quarantine certificate, hygiene certificate and origin certificate) issued by the competent government department of the exporting country (region) for each batch of imported food to prove that the batch of exported food is effectively supervised under its official supervision system and meets the requirements of China.

(8) Confirm whether it is necessary to apply to the China Customs for examination and approval of quarantine of imported animals and plants

Where imported food needs to go through the examination and approval procedures for quarantine of imported animals and plants, it can only be imported after obtaining the “Quarantine Permit of the People’s Republic of China for imported Animals and Plants”. It mainly involves meat and its products (including organs), fresh milk, pasteurized milk and other animal-derived food, various mixed beans and other plant-derived food with epidemic disease spreading risks.

(9) Understand Customs clearance procedures in China

importers or agents can complete Customs declaration and submit relevant materials to China Customs through “Internet + Customs” and “Single window” of international trade. Where the China Customs carries out inspection and quarantine on the imported goods at the ports, and the goods pass the inspection and quarantine are allowed to be sold and used; those who fail the inspection and quarantine shall be destroyed, returned to the ship or subjected to technical treatment under the supervision of the China Customs. For some imported high-risk foods that may have animal and plant epidemics, pestilences or toxic and harmful substances, they need to enter at the ports designated by the China Customs.

(10) Understand supervision on food after import in China

importers shall establish a food import and sales record system. If the imported foods are found of safety problems and has caused or may cause damage to human health and life safety, the importer of the imported food shall voluntarily recall and report to the local Customs.

Please note: Original English article of Global Foodmate of Information Service and Business Department, please indicate the source from the Global Foodmate if reprint.

Global Foodmate Information Service Centre provides food standards & regulations research, labeling compliance consulting/Chinese label design, industry public opinion monitoring and analysis, registration services (of Infant formula, FSMP, Health food, Novel Food Ingredients, Novel Food Additives, New Varieties of Food-Related Products and Overseas manufacturers of imported food) and other comprehensive food safety solutions for domestic and overseas enterprises and institutions in food industry. 

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