- There are only ten months remaining for infant formula manufacturers to finish registration before the January 1st 2018 deadline. In the second quarter of 2017 we are expecting a significant increase in the number of infant formula registration applications.
According to statistical data from China customs, the volume of imported infant formula volume increased tremendously in 2016. Import volume reached 221,300 tons which represents year-on-year growth of 21.8%. Top ranked origins by volume include Holland, Ireland, France, Germany, New Zealand and Australia.
The grace period for infant formula recipe registration has been extended to Jan. 1, 2018. Unregistered infant formula will not be allowed to be sold on the Chinese market after that date, which means there are only ten months remaining for infant formula manufacturers to finish registration.
Infant formula registration application
It was revealed during the 8th meeting of China Dairy Industry Association that to date only 7 infant formula manufacturers have submitted registration application dossiers to CFDA. Most infant formula enterprises are still in the dossier preparation stage which includes compilation of the R&D report, testing result, labeling, etc. The current lack of progress in is understandable given that two important supplementary documents were only just drafted in January, which are:
- Technical Guidelines on Labeling for Registration of Infants and Young Children Milk Powder Formula Recipes (Trial) (Exposure Draft)
- Technical Guidelines on Stability Study for Registration of Infants and Young Children Milk Powder Formula Recipes (Trial) (Exposure Draft)
Industry experts estimate that by the second quarter of 2017 will see large number infant formula manufacturers choosing to submit application dossiers.
Challenges and opportunities for domestic infant formula manufacturers
2017 is an important year for Chinese domestic infant formula enterprises. The implementation of the new registration system represents another chance for domestic enterprise to rebuild brand reputation and consolidate larger market share as smaller enterprises are forced from the market.
However domestic infant formula enterprises face considerable pressures and fierce competition from overseas infant formula manufacturers, as well as CBEC and Haitao traders. After Jan. 1, 2018 when the new registration policy is formally implemented, the number of domestic infant formula brands is expected to drop from 2,000 to 500.