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China’s Overseas Food Facility Registration: Some Deadlines You Need to Know About

In the spring of 2021, China published the Chinese General Administration of Customs (GAC) Decree 248 – Regulations on Registration and Administration of Overseas Manufacturers of Imported Food,1 to impose new registration requirements on all foreign food companies (see more details in our prior CRM newsletters – Breaking News: China Imposes New Registration Requirements for All Foreign Food Companies). Although the enforcement date of January 1, 2022, is approaching, to date, no official guidelines have been released by GAC to detail the implementation. 

In the meantime, it appears that some foreign governments (e.g., Singapore2 and Malaysia3) have provided instructions to local food companies on how to satisfy the food facility registration requirements in China. For instance, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), on October 5, 2021, published a notice,4 which stated that, if the producers of certain designated food categories (e.g., edible fats and oils, functional foods, egg products, condiments) have exported the products to China since January 1, 2017, they could be entitled to GAC’s fast-track registration if they can submit a declaration to SFA by October 31, 2021. Similar guidance is also set forth in the notice issued by the Malaysian food authority. 

Thus, despite the absence of an official announcement from GAC, there appears to be a window of opportunity that may only last until October 31, 2021, for food companies to take advantage of a fast-track registration process. Accordingly, an overseas food company may want to reach out to the local responsible food authority to see if there is an opportunity to utilize the fast-track registration process in their home country. 

It is worth noting that GAC Decree 249 – Administrative Measures on Import and Export Food Safety5 will also take effect on January 1, 2022, under which new requirements governing the inspection and evaluation of imported foods are imposed. 


[1] http://www.customs.gov.cn/customs/302249/2480148/3619591/index.html
[2] https://www.sfa.gov.sg/docs/default-source/circulars/2021/sfa-circular_u...
[3] http://fsq.moh.gov.my/v6/xs/page.php?id=441000552
[4] https://www.sfa.gov.sg/docs/default-source/circulars/2021/sfa-circular_u...
[5] http://www.customs.gov.cn/customs/302249/2480148/3619657/index.html

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 294
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About this Author

David J. Ettinger, Keller Heckman, Partner, Food and Drug Corporation, International Trade Lawyer, Attorney, Shanghai, China
Partner

David Ettinger joined Keller and Heckman in 1999. Mr. Ettinger represents domestic and foreign corporations in the area of food and drug law.

Mr. Ettinger relocated to Keller and Heckman's Shanghai office in November 2012 to focus on the Asian market and counsel companies in the Far East on food, drug, and chemical regulatory matters. He has extensive experience counseling clients on product development and product protection of food and drug packaging in the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada, and South America. From 2006-2007, Mr. Ettinger...

86 21-6335-1000
Jenny Li, Keller Heckman, China Food, Drug Regulation, Shanghai, International Trade
Legal Consultant

Jenny Li joined Keller and Heckman in October 2007.

Ms. Li counsels clients on regulatory issues focusing on food and drug, with an emphasis on regulatory regimes in the Asia-Pacific region. She also counsels clients on food labeling, food claims, food additives, as well as, important issues regarding food imports in Asian countries.

86-21-6335-1000
Yin Dai, Keller Heckman, Multi national Food Companies Regulation, Paralegal, Shanghai, China,
Paralegal

Yin Dai joined Keller and Heckman in 2013.  She is a paralegal in the food and drug practice area. She monitors developments impacting the regulations of food, food packaging, drugs and medical devices throughout Asia.  Ms. Dai assists multi-national food and chemical companies in product stewardship and compliance matters, especially in China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and other ASEAN countries.  She also participates in the clearance for new food related materials in China and other Asian countries.

Prior to joining Keller and Heckman, Ms. Dai...

86 21 6335 1000
Suyan  Sharon Tian Paralegal Food and Drug practice
Paralegal

Sharon Tian is a paralegal in the Food and Drug practice. She monitors developments impacting the regulations of food, food packaging, drugs, medical devices and cosmetics throughout Asia. In addition, Ms. Tian supports the professional staff by helping multi-national companies with regulatory compliance issues, including food and food-related products, feed and feed additives, medical devices and cosmetics.

86-21-6335-1000
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