- Vietnam is now qualified to export dairy products to China
- A Vietnam dairy manufacturer was granted a registration license
- Dairy factories without registration can not export products to China through general trade channels but can through cross-border e-commerce.
On Oct 16, 2019, China General Administration of Customs (GAC) issued announcement No.156-2019 about inspection and quarantine requirements of imported Vietnam dairy products, kicking off importation of Vietnam dairy products.
Inspection and Quarantine Requirements of Imported Vietnam Dairy Products
I Legal basis of inspection and quarantine
II Range of dairy products allowed to be traded
“Dairy products imported from Vietnam to China” refer to processed foods whose main ingredient is heat treated cow milk, including pasteurized milk, sterilized milk, modified milk, fermented milk, cheese, processed cheese, watery cream, cream, anhydrous cream, condensed milk, milk powder, whey powder, whey protein powder, bovine colostrum powder, casein, milk mineral, milk-based infant formula and its premix materials etc.
III Requirements for dairy factory
Vietnam manufacturers of dairy products exporting to China shall be approved by Vietnam competent authority and register at China General Administration of Customs. The list of registered manufacturers is available on GAC website.
IV Requirements for quarantine approval
Importing pasteurized milk and modified milk processed by pasteurization from Vietnam is required quarantine approval and obtain “import animal and plant quarantine license” prior to importation.
V Requirements for credentials
Dairy products imported from Vietnam shall be attached with hygiene certificates issued by Vietnam government.
VI Requirements for Packaging and Labeling
Dairy products imported from Vietnam shall use fresh new packages that are compliant with China’s relevant standards. In the outer packages, there shall be clear specifications, manufacturing address (state/province/city), destination, product name, weight, name of factory, registration number, product batch number, storage condition, dates of production and expiration.
Inner packages shall comply with China’s relevant regulations. In the labels, there shall be clear country of origin, product name, enterprise registration number, manufacturer name, address and contact, dates of production and expiration, product batch number.
VII Requirements for Storage and Transportation
The whole process of storing and transporting dairy products imported from Vietnam shall align with hygiene requirements and be protected from pollution of toxic or harmful substances. Cargos, after loaded into containers, shall be sealed with mark. Seal number shall be specified in the hygiene certificate. Unpacking or changing the packages during the transportation is forbidden.
First Barrier to China Market Removed
The announcement means Vietnam finally got listed in “Directory of approved imported food and exporting countries/regions” which is contingent on positive GAC evaluation on the food safety systems of overseas countries/regions. The Directory extends to 8 categories of food with higher safety risks, including meat, dairy products, aquatic products, bird nest, casing, plant originated food, Chinese traditional medicine and honey. Those foods (unprocessed or simply processed) are not allowed to be imported if relevant food categories or the exporting countries/regions are not in the Directory.
According to the appendix published alongside the announcement, Vietnam’s factories of dairy products exporting to China shall register at GAC, which is an obligation shared by all dairy manufacturers marketing to China. The same day on Oct 16, GAC updated the registered dairy manufacturers list, involving one of Vietnam’s top 5 dairy brands TH Milk Joint Stock Company. Other top brands such as Vinamilk, Nutifood, Frieslandcampina have not gained approval yet.
Cross-border E-commerce Channel is Available
Under current China’s cross-border e-commerce policy, manufacturer registration is not mandatory and therefore offers another route to market for unregistered manufacturers.