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Further Guidance on Overseas Food Facility Registration Published by China Customs Authority

On December 14, 2021, the Chinese General Administration of Customs (GAC) released GAC Announcement No. 103/2021 (“Announcement”),[1] providing additional details of GAC Decree 248 - Regulations on Registration and Administration of Overseas Manufacturers of Imported Food and GAC Decree 249 - Administrative Measures on Import and Export Food Safety.

Per the Announcement, as of January 1, 2022, it will be necessary for overseas manufacturers of imported food to fill in their Chinese registration number under the Product Qualification of the customs declaration form during customs clearance. Import declaration without the Chinese registration number will not be accepted. Since the January 1, 2022 deadline is soon approaching, overseas food manufacturers subject to the decrees are encouraged to apply and obtain a Chinese registration number as soon as possible. 

GAC Decree 248 further mandates labeling of the facility registration number on the inner and outer package of foods exported to China. GAC Decree 249 also sets forth detailed labeling requirements for imported foods, e.g., special dietary foods, freshly frozen meat and aquatic products. We have discussed the various labeling requirements in previous “China Regulatory Matters.”[2] While there were questions about the implementation date of the labeling requirements, e.g., whether the labeling rules apply to foods that are manufactured before January 1 but arrive after this deadline, GAC’s Announcement now makes it clear that the mandatory labeling requirements under GAC Decree 248 and Decree 249 will apply to foods exported to China that are manufactured as of January 1, 2022. Thus, there appears to be some flexibility with the implementation date of GAC’s mandatory labeling requirement, but it remains to be seen whether the authority will grant more time for exporters to obtain a facility registration number or whether the January 1st deadline will be enforced as scheduled.

[1] http://www.customs.gov.cn/customs/302249/2480148/4053483/index.html.

[2] See more details in our regulatory news alerts – “China Regulatory Matters” Breaking News: China Imposes New Registration Requirements for All Foreign Food Companies, China’s Overseas Food Facility Registration: Some Deadlines You Need to Know About and China Releases Further Details on Overseas Food Facility Registration.

© 2023 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 350

About this Author

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

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...

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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.

Yin Dai, Keller Heckman, Multi national Food Companies Regulation, Paralegal, Shanghai, China,

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...

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