On April 12, 2021, the General Administration of Customs of China announced the implementation of NEW SAFETY REGULATIONS governing the import of food products into China.

Two new regulations (No. 248 and No. 249) came into effect on January 1, 2022, leading to the abolition of the previous regulations.

The aim of the new rules is to further enhance the safety of imported products. Between January and July 2019, a total of 727 batches of foreign food and beverage products were returned or destroyed due to non-compliance issues, including:

  • Food quality;

  • Certificates, labels, and packaging;

  • Excessive or insufficient use of food additives, presence of microorganisms;

  • Failure to undergo inspection and quarantine;

  • Non-compliant ingredients and other reasons.

This has caused significant losses throughout the agri-food supply chain, and in the most serious cases, import licenses were revoked, and investors were prohibited from conducting future commercial activities.

In such a restrictive regulatory environment, where consumers and the government are ready to welcome the next compliant company, the stakes are clearly high.

In general, these new Regulations are aimed at, on one hand, regulating the registration process with the local Chinese authority for foreign producers intending to export their food products to the country; and on the other hand, introducing new provisions in food safety matters (such as labeling and a series of checks and inspections in the products’ country of origin).

ESI’s technical team supports Italian agri-food industries in navigating the Chinese regulatory system, and with the assistance of ITA Group’s Chinese regulatory team, it oversees label review and implementation as well as specific product formulations.

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