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China Releases Interpretations of “Administrative Provisions on the Registration of Overseas Manufacturers of Import Foods”

Overseas manufacturers who grant agents to apply for the registration on their behalf shall also provide a power of attorney. The definition of inner and outer packaging is given, which refers to transport packaging like cartons and sales unit which contains individually packaged units. The new overseas manufacturer registration provision will come into effect on Jan 1, 2022 without a grace period.

To increase the industry’s understanding of “Administrative Provisions on the Registration of Overseas Manufacturers of Imported Foods (Decree No. 248)” (a revised version of AQSIQ Order No.145-2012 released on April 13, 2021), General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) released a follow-up document on Nov. 5, 2021, which clarifies the background and necessity of this revision and provides interpretations of each article in this Provisions.

Key Elements

1. About the application form

According to the Provisions, an application form shall be submitted when applying for manufacturer registration. China customs will soon release the application form template for overseas manufacturers. 

2. When applying for the registration by agents

Article 9 specifies that overseas manufacturers of foods other than the 18 food categories specified in Article 7 shall, by themselves or by agents, submit applications for registration with the GACC. Now the Document clarifies that apart from the needed documents, overseas manufacturers who grant agents to apply for the registration on their behalf shall also provide a power of attorney (POA). Items like the basic information of the principal & agent, matters, commencement date and expiration date, etc., shall be clarified in the POA. Moreover, the principal shall inform GACC in written form beforehand if the POA is altered or revoked.

3. About the evaluation criteria for onsite inspection

The Document discloses that GACC will evaluate the onsite inspection based on guidelines released by World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC); quarantine & inspection requirements agreed by GACC and the exporting country (region); as well as regulations and national standards in China.

4. Regarding the registration number and its labeling on inner and outer packaging

Article 15 stipulates that “a registered manufacturer shall mark the Chinese registration number or the registration number approved by the competent authority of the country/region on the inner and outer packaging of the foods exported to China.” As revealed by the Document, GACC encourages overseas manufacturers to label Chinese registration number on the package in the long term. The inner and outer packaging here refers to transport packaging like cartons and sales unit which contains individually packaged units.

5. Concerning the registration alteration

When evaluating the application of registration alteration, GACC will approve the alteration as long as relevant alteration won’t influence the food safety & sanitation management system and protection system, such as the adjustment of enterprise name. Alteration applications whose adjustments may influence the food safety & sanitation management system and protection system (such as the factory expansion) will be rejected. 

6. No grace period

The Provisions will come into effect on Jan 1, 2022 without a grace period. Enterprises should hurry up and complete the registration in time. On Nov. 1, 2021, GACC released the Import Food Enterprises Registration Platform for overseas manufacturers that produce products other than the 18 categories. Click here to read more details. For enterprises that have language difficulties, REACH24H consulting group, the founder of ChemLinked, can provide consultation service regarding overseas manufacturer registration and assist clients to complete the registration on the online platform. Feel free to contact us if you need any help.

You may also contact ChemLinked for further translation service of this Document.

Note: ChemLinked will hold a webinar on Nov. 19th this month to decoding the new provisions of overseas food manufactuer registration. Welcome to join us!

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We provide full-scale Chinese food market entry services (including product registration, ingredient review, regulatory consultation, customized training, market research, branding strategy). Please contact us to discuss how we can help you by food@chemlinked.com
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