Special News Bulletin: Immediate changes in Chinese import regulations on food & beverages

Estimated impact to Euroeat business: Neutral. Currently, Euroeat does not trade with Food & Beverages and does not have them in the sales plans for 2021.

On 12th Apr. Chinese authorities have approved new food & beverage import legislation. The new legislation becomes effective immediately.

This will have a major impact on all food & beverage imports. In short, the new legislation requires much more inspection and criteria on food & beverage imports.

One major change is that all existing & new overseas suppliers of food & beverages products must be pre-registered in China, new pre-registration process is introduced along with the new legislation. The registration will be applied through two methods depending on what is to be imported to China: Recommendation method and Volunteer method.

The Recommendation method means that the suppliers and their agents in China cannot register themselves, the registration shall be done by the customs authority of the country of origin directly to the Chinese authority: the overseas authority has to recommend this supplier to the Chinese authority so that their products can be exported to China.

The following food & beverage categories shall ONLY be done via the Recommendation method:

  • Meat & meat products,
  • sausage skin,
  • all seafood,
  • all milk & milk products,
  • cubilose (bird’s nest),
  • all bee & bee honey products,
  • egg & egg products,
  • oil,
  • buns & dumplings,
  • all grain products,
  • all malt & barley,
  • fresh & dried vegetable products including potatoes,
  • all seasoning products like spices,
  • all nuts and nut products,
  • dried fruit products,
  • unbaked coffee beans and cocoa beans,
  • all fiber products,
  • all health products

The suppliers of the above categories must be pre-registered and be recommended by their home country customs authority to Chinese authorities before any products can be exported to China.

The remaining categories not mentioned can be done via the Volunteer method, which means that the supplier or via their importer in China can register to the customs by themselves. The process is pretty much like what it is today, but more materials will be needed including (but not limited to) production environment videos, online inspection via live videos, factory certificates, test reports, production documents, etc.

The changes will further increase the difficulties of food & beverage imports and many major imported food channels are now tuning their processes and informing their suppliers about these major changes. Besides the new registration methods, the new legislation also requires that all health products (and milk products) must have Chinese labeling and information in the product package from the factory, meaning that those cannot be used with any stickers anymore.

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