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On 12th of April 2021, the General Administration of Customs of PRC released the Administrative Measures of the People's Republic of China for the Safety of Food for import or export, which shall come into force as of 1st of January, 2022.

The highlights are as follows:

 

* Whoever engages in the following activities shall abide by these Measures:

(I) Manufacturing and trading activities in respect of food for import or export; and

(II) Supervision and administration conducted by Customs authorities over the manufacturers and traders of food for import or export and the safety of food for import or export.

The manufacturing and trading activities in respect of food for import or export additives and food-related products shall be subject to the relevant provisions of the General Administration of Customs of China ("GACC").

* The manufacturers and traders of food for import or export shall be responsible for the safety of the food for import or export produced or traded by them.

* In any of the following circumstances, the GACC may launch assessment and review of an overseas country (region):

(I) The overseas country (region) applies for the initial export of a certain type (kind) of food to China;

(II) The overseas country (region) undergoes major adjustments to the laws and regulations on food safety, animal and plant quarantine and the organizational structure;

(III) The competent authority of the overseas country (region) applies for major adjustments to the inspection and quarantine requirements for a certain type (kind) of food exported to China;

(IV) A major animal or plant epidemic or food safety event occurs in the overseas country (region);

(V) Customs authorities discovers a serious problem in the food exported to China and believes that there is an animal or plant epidemic or food safety hazard; or

(VI) Any other circumstance that requires assessment and review.


* The assessment and review of the food safety administration system of an overseas country (region) shall mainly include the assessment and confirmation of the following contents:

(I) Laws and regulations on food safety, animal and plant quarantine;

(II) Organizations for food safety supervision and administration;

(III) Animal or plant epidemic situation and prevention and control measures;

(IV) Management and control of pathogenic microorganisms, agricultural and veterinary drugs and pollutants;

(V) Safety and hygiene control of food manufacturing, processing, transportation and storage;

(VI) Supervision and administration of the safety of food for export;

(VII) Food safety protection, traceability and recall system;

(VIII) Early warning and emergency response mechanism;

(IX) Technical support capacity; and

(X) Other circumstance involving animal or plant epidemic or food safety.

* Overseas exporters or agents that export food to China (hereinafter referred to as "overseas exporters or agents") shall go through filing formalities with the GACC.

* Food importers shall go through filing formalities with the local customs authorities.

When going through the filing formalities, overseas exporters or agents or food importers shall be responsible for the authenticity and validity of the documents they provide.

The list of overseas exporters or agents and food importers that have been filed will be publicized by the GACC.

*    A food importer shall establish a recording system for import and sale of food to faithfully record the name, net content/specifications and quantity of the food, date of manufacturing, manufacturing or import batch number, best before date, name, address and contact information of the overseas exporter or purchaser, date of delivery and other contents, and keep the relevant vouchers. The records and vouchers shall be kept for at least six months upon the expiration of the best before date of the food; where the best before date is not specified, such records and vouchers shall be kept for at least two years upon sale.


*    A food importer shall establish an examination system for overseas exporters and overseas manufacturers, with emphasis on the following contents:

(I) The formulation and implementation of food safety risk control measures; and

(II) The situation of ensuring that the food complies with Chinese laws and regulations and national standards for food safety.

*    Customs authorities shall, as required for supervision and administration, conduct on-site inspection of the food for import. The on-site inspection shall include but not be limited to the following contents:

(I) Whether the means of transport and the place of storage meet the requirements for safety and hygiene;

(II) Whether the container number, sealing number, the contents of marks on the internal and external packages and the actual conditions of goods are consistent with the declared information and the attached documents;

(III) Whether the food derived from animals or plants, packing materials and bedding/padding materials have any of the circumstances as prescribed in Article 22 of the Implementing Regulations for the Law on the Entry and Exit Animal and Plant Quarantine;

(IV) Whether the internal and external packages meet the national standards for food safety, and whether there is any contamination, damage, wet soaking or penetration of the packages;

(V) Whether the labels and marks on the internal and external packages and the instructions meet the requirements of laws, administrative regulations, national standards for food safety and the provisions of the GACC;

(VI) Whether the sensory properties of the food conform to the properties that the food should have; and

(VII) Whether the freshness and central temperature of frozen and refrigerated food meet the requirements, whether there is any disease, and whether the temperature in the environment of frozen and refrigerated food meets the relevant standards and requirements, whether the cold chain temperature control equipment and facilities operate normally and whether the temperature records meet the requirements. If necessary, cooking test may be conducted.

*    The packaging, labels and marks of the food for import shall conform to Chinese laws, regulations and national standards for food safety. Where there shall be instructions as required by law, there shall also be instructions in Chinese.

For the fresh and frozen meat products for import, there shall be firm, clear and identifiable written marks in Chinese and English or in Chinese and the language of the exporting country (region) on the internal and external packages, indicating the following contents: the country (region) of origin, name of product, registration number of the manufacturer, and batch number. The specification, place of origin (the state/province/city), destination, date of manufacturing, sell-by date, and storage temperature shall be indicated in Chinese on the external packages. The destination shall be the People's Republic of China, and the official inspection and quarantine mark of the exporting country (region) shall be affixed.

For the aquatic products for import, there shall be firm, clear and identifiable written marks in Chinese and English or in Chinese and the language of the exporting country (region) on the internal and external packages, indicating the following contents: commodity name and scientific name, specifications, date of manufacturing, batch number, sell-by date and storage conditions, mode of manufacturing (sea fishing, freshwater fishing and aquaculture), manufacturing area (sea fishing areas, freshwater fishing countries or regions, and the country or region where aquaculture products are located), name, registration number and address (the specific state/province/city) of all the manufacturing and processing enterprises involved (including fishing vessels, processing vessels, transport vessels, and independent cold storages), and the destination must be the People's Republic of China.

The Chinese labels of the health-care food and food for special dietary use for import must be printed on the smallest sales package and shall not be affixed.

Where there are provisions on special marks on the internal and external packages of the food for import, such provisions shall prevail.

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Hot off the Press! Measures on Safety of Importing Food

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Company Deregistration Simplified Further

On 12th of April 2021, the General Administration of Customs of PRC released the Administrative Measures of the People's Republic of China for the Safety of Food for import or export, which shall come into force as of 1st of January, 2022.

The highlights are as follows:

 

* Whoever engages in the following activities shall abide by these Measures:

(I) Manufacturing and trading activities in respect of food for import or export; and

(II) Supervision and administration conducted by Customs authorities over the manufacturers and traders of food for import or export and the safety of food for import or export.

The manufacturing and trading activities in respect of food for import or export additives and food-related products shall be subject to the relevant provisions of the General Administration of Customs of China ("GACC").

* The manufacturers and traders of food for import or export shall be responsible for the safety of the food for import or export produced or traded by them.

* In any of the following circumstances, the GACC may launch assessment and review of an overseas country (region):

(I) The overseas country (region) applies for the initial export of a certain type (kind) of food to China;

(II) The overseas country (region) undergoes major adjustments to the laws and regulations on food safety, animal and plant quarantine and the organizational structure;

(III) The competent authority of the overseas country (region) applies for major adjustments to the inspection and quarantine requirements for a certain type (kind) of food exported to China;

(IV) A major animal or plant epidemic or food safety event occurs in the overseas country (region);

(V) Customs authorities discovers a serious problem in the food exported to China and believes that there is an animal or plant epidemic or food safety hazard; or

(VI) Any other circumstance that requires assessment and review.


* The assessment and review of the food safety administration system of an overseas country (region) shall mainly include the assessment and confirmation of the following contents:

(I) Laws and regulations on food safety, animal and plant quarantine;

(II) Organizations for food safety supervision and administration;

(III) Animal or plant epidemic situation and prevention and control measures;

(IV) Management and control of pathogenic microorganisms, agricultural and veterinary drugs and pollutants;

(V) Safety and hygiene control of food manufacturing, processing, transportation and storage;

(VI) Supervision and administration of the safety of food for export;

(VII) Food safety protection, traceability and recall system;

(VIII) Early warning and emergency response mechanism;

(IX) Technical support capacity; and

(X) Other circumstance involving animal or plant epidemic or food safety.

* Overseas exporters or agents that export food to China (hereinafter referred to as "overseas exporters or agents") shall go through filing formalities with the GACC.

* Food importers shall go through filing formalities with the local customs authorities.

When going through the filing formalities, overseas exporters or agents or food importers shall be responsible for the authenticity and validity of the documents they provide.

The list of overseas exporters or agents and food importers that have been filed will be publicized by the GACC.

*    A food importer shall establish a recording system for import and sale of food to faithfully record the name, net content/specifications and quantity of the food, date of manufacturing, manufacturing or import batch number, best before date, name, address and contact information of the overseas exporter or purchaser, date of delivery and other contents, and keep the relevant vouchers. The records and vouchers shall be kept for at least six months upon the expiration of the best before date of the food; where the best before date is not specified, such records and vouchers shall be kept for at least two years upon sale.


*    A food importer shall establish an examination system for overseas exporters and overseas manufacturers, with emphasis on the following contents:

(I) The formulation and implementation of food safety risk control measures; and

(II) The situation of ensuring that the food complies with Chinese laws and regulations and national standards for food safety.

*    Customs authorities shall, as required for supervision and administration, conduct on-site inspection of the food for import. The on-site inspection shall include but not be limited to the following contents:

(I) Whether the means of transport and the place of storage meet the requirements for safety and hygiene;

(II) Whether the container number, sealing number, the contents of marks on the internal and external packages and the actual conditions of goods are consistent with the declared information and the attached documents;

(III) Whether the food derived from animals or plants, packing materials and bedding/padding materials have any of the circumstances as prescribed in Article 22 of the Implementing Regulations for the Law on the Entry and Exit Animal and Plant Quarantine;

(IV) Whether the internal and external packages meet the national standards for food safety, and whether there is any contamination, damage, wet soaking or penetration of the packages;

(V) Whether the labels and marks on the internal and external packages and the instructions meet the requirements of laws, administrative regulations, national standards for food safety and the provisions of the GACC;

(VI) Whether the sensory properties of the food conform to the properties that the food should have; and

(VII) Whether the freshness and central temperature of frozen and refrigerated food meet the requirements, whether there is any disease, and whether the temperature in the environment of frozen and refrigerated food meets the relevant standards and requirements, whether the cold chain temperature control equipment and facilities operate normally and whether the temperature records meet the requirements. If necessary, cooking test may be conducted.

*    The packaging, labels and marks of the food for import shall conform to Chinese laws, regulations and national standards for food safety. Where there shall be instructions as required by law, there shall also be instructions in Chinese.

For the fresh and frozen meat products for import, there shall be firm, clear and identifiable written marks in Chinese and English or in Chinese and the language of the exporting country (region) on the internal and external packages, indicating the following contents: the country (region) of origin, name of product, registration number of the manufacturer, and batch number. The specification, place of origin (the state/province/city), destination, date of manufacturing, sell-by date, and storage temperature shall be indicated in Chinese on the external packages. The destination shall be the People's Republic of China, and the official inspection and quarantine mark of the exporting country (region) shall be affixed.

For the aquatic products for import, there shall be firm, clear and identifiable written marks in Chinese and English or in Chinese and the language of the exporting country (region) on the internal and external packages, indicating the following contents: commodity name and scientific name, specifications, date of manufacturing, batch number, sell-by date and storage conditions, mode of manufacturing (sea fishing, freshwater fishing and aquaculture), manufacturing area (sea fishing areas, freshwater fishing countries or regions, and the country or region where aquaculture products are located), name, registration number and address (the specific state/province/city) of all the manufacturing and processing enterprises involved (including fishing vessels, processing vessels, transport vessels, and independent cold storages), and the destination must be the People's Republic of China.

The Chinese labels of the health-care food and food for special dietary use for import must be printed on the smallest sales package and shall not be affixed.

Where there are provisions on special marks on the internal and external packages of the food for import, such provisions shall prevail.

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