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”), 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.” 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.
 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.