China’s new requirements for imported food products

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The requirements for exporting food products to China are changing.

China has announced new food establishment registration and product labelling requirements for imported food products from 1 January 2022. The requirements apply to all countries, including Australia.

The Australian food regulation system is a strong system.

Our system is made up of laws, policies and standards that are based on scientific evidence and expertise, and protects the health and safety of consumers. The rigorous cooperative system provides a firm platform on which our food industries operate.

The new requirements may impact your food manufacturing, processing or storage business.

If you are currently exporting food products to China, you may need to register your business with China. Some businesses may be required to apply to the department for registration with China well in advance of the requirements coming into effect. Please read the below information carefully to ensure you understand your next steps.

We understand that you may have questions.

This page is designed to provide businesses with information about China’s new requirements, and to provide you an opportunity to ask questions about how they affect you.

About the new requirements

China has issued two decrees that set out the requirements:

  • Regulations on the Registration and Administration of Overseas Producers of Imported Food - Decree 248
  • Administrative Measures on Import and Export Food Safety - Decree 249

The new requirements cover the registration of overseas food manufacturing, processing, and storage businesses. They also set out labelling requirements. The requirements apply to a broad range of food products.

The new requirements come into effect on 1 January 2022. All businesses will need to submit their registration prior to this date. There are different registration categories and businesses already exporting to China may need to apply to be registered with China well in advance of the requirements coming into effect.

More information about China’s import requirements for food can be found on the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (Micor).

What food business and storage facilities need to do

If you only manufacture, process or store prescribed meat, dairy and seafood products, you do not need to complete any additional registration steps at this time. The existing application and registration processes remain in place. Please check Micor for additional information about labelling requirements.

If you manufacture, process or store food products listed below (Article 7 foods), you will need to apply to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to facilitate registration with China:

  • casings
  • honey
  • edible fats and oils
  • stuffed pasta
  • edible grains and milled grain products including malt
  • fresh and dehydrated vegetables
  • dried beans
  • seasonings
  • nuts and seeds
  • dried fruits
  • unroasted coffee beans and cocoa beans
  • health foods
  • food for special dietary purposes.

If you are already exporting these products to China you need to apply to the department to be registered with China by 22 October 2021. Rolling submissions will be accepted after this date, but may face delays or trade disruptions when the new requirements come into effect.

The department will make a submission to China to recommend these businesses be registered to be eligible to export to China.

The department will then issue you with an establishment number. This number needs to be included on your product packaging (inner and outer packaging) to meet China’s labelling requirements.

If you manufacture, process or store other food products not listed above (Article 9 foods) you will need to self-register your business through China’s single window mechanism from 1 November 2021. Prompt registration is encouraged to avoid delays or trade disruptions when the new requirements come into effect. There are some exceptions: please verify the information available for your commodity on Micor to establish whether you are required to self-register.

Information will be released soon for new businesses wanting to start exporting their food products to China.

More information

More information about the decrees can be found on the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (Micor).

Micor sets out the known requirements that exporters and the department must meet for products and commodities to be accepted for import into specific overseas countries.

Attend a webinar

A webinar was held on 22 October 2021 to provide more information about the requirements.

Submit a question

We understand that many Australian food businesses have questions about how they can comply with China’s new requirements for imported food.

If your question is not answered in our frequently asked questions, please use the exporting to China query form to submit your question.

The requirements for exporting food products to China are changing.

China has announced new food establishment registration and product labelling requirements for imported food products from 1 January 2022. The requirements apply to all countries, including Australia.

The Australian food regulation system is a strong system.

Our system is made up of laws, policies and standards that are based on scientific evidence and expertise, and protects the health and safety of consumers. The rigorous cooperative system provides a firm platform on which our food industries operate.

The new requirements may impact your food manufacturing, processing or storage business.

If you are currently exporting food products to China, you may need to register your business with China. Some businesses may be required to apply to the department for registration with China well in advance of the requirements coming into effect. Please read the below information carefully to ensure you understand your next steps.

We understand that you may have questions.

This page is designed to provide businesses with information about China’s new requirements, and to provide you an opportunity to ask questions about how they affect you.

About the new requirements

China has issued two decrees that set out the requirements:

  • Regulations on the Registration and Administration of Overseas Producers of Imported Food - Decree 248
  • Administrative Measures on Import and Export Food Safety - Decree 249

The new requirements cover the registration of overseas food manufacturing, processing, and storage businesses. They also set out labelling requirements. The requirements apply to a broad range of food products.

The new requirements come into effect on 1 January 2022. All businesses will need to submit their registration prior to this date. There are different registration categories and businesses already exporting to China may need to apply to be registered with China well in advance of the requirements coming into effect.

More information about China’s import requirements for food can be found on the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (Micor).

What food business and storage facilities need to do

If you only manufacture, process or store prescribed meat, dairy and seafood products, you do not need to complete any additional registration steps at this time. The existing application and registration processes remain in place. Please check Micor for additional information about labelling requirements.

If you manufacture, process or store food products listed below (Article 7 foods), you will need to apply to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to facilitate registration with China:

  • casings
  • honey
  • edible fats and oils
  • stuffed pasta
  • edible grains and milled grain products including malt
  • fresh and dehydrated vegetables
  • dried beans
  • seasonings
  • nuts and seeds
  • dried fruits
  • unroasted coffee beans and cocoa beans
  • health foods
  • food for special dietary purposes.

If you are already exporting these products to China you need to apply to the department to be registered with China by 22 October 2021. Rolling submissions will be accepted after this date, but may face delays or trade disruptions when the new requirements come into effect.

The department will make a submission to China to recommend these businesses be registered to be eligible to export to China.

The department will then issue you with an establishment number. This number needs to be included on your product packaging (inner and outer packaging) to meet China’s labelling requirements.

If you manufacture, process or store other food products not listed above (Article 9 foods) you will need to self-register your business through China’s single window mechanism from 1 November 2021. Prompt registration is encouraged to avoid delays or trade disruptions when the new requirements come into effect. There are some exceptions: please verify the information available for your commodity on Micor to establish whether you are required to self-register.

Information will be released soon for new businesses wanting to start exporting their food products to China.

More information

More information about the decrees can be found on the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (Micor).

Micor sets out the known requirements that exporters and the department must meet for products and commodities to be accepted for import into specific overseas countries.

Attend a webinar

A webinar was held on 22 October 2021 to provide more information about the requirements.

Submit a question

We understand that many Australian food businesses have questions about how they can comply with China’s new requirements for imported food.

If your question is not answered in our frequently asked questions, please use the exporting to China query form to submit your question.

  • Welcome. If your question is not already answered in our FAQ, we invite you to submit a question about China’s new requirements for imported food via this online submission form.

    Use this form to submit your question or upload your own document. If you are uploading a written submission on behalf of an organisation, you must use an official letterhead.

    Before you make a submission, make sure you have read the Micor page.

    Submit a question
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