Policy

AQSIQ notifies new regulations to WTO on January 9, 2018.

Regulations on Inspection, Supervision and Administration of Labels of Import and Export Prepackaged Foods
Revised Draft in 2017
 
ChapterⅠGeneral Provisions
 
Article 1 In accordance with the Food Safety Law and regulations for implementation of the same, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Import and Export Commodity Inspection and regulations for implementation of the same, and other relevant laws and administrative regulations, these regulations are formulated for the purpose of regulating the inspection, supervision and administration in respect of labels of import and export prepackaged foods.
Article 2 These regulations apply to the inspection, supervision and administration in respect of labels of import and export prepackaged foods.
Article 3 The definitions of prepackaged foods and food labels as referred to in these regulations are in conformity with the provisions in national food safety standards.
 
ChapterⅡResponsibilities of Enterprises
 
Article 4 The overseas exporters and overseas manufactures of prepackaged foods shall ensure that the labels of the prepackaged foods exported to China conform to the provisions of Chinese laws and regulations as well as requirements in Chinese national food safety standards. Such exporters and manufactures shall be responsible for the contents of such labels.
Article 5 The importers of prepackaged foods are responsible for reviewing the Chinese labels of the prepackaged foods they will import, so that such food may be imported only when the labels conform to the provisions of Chinese laws and regulations as well as requirements in Chinese national food safety standards. Importers should keep the label materials for at least 2 years, and accept supervision and sampling inspection by inspection and quarantine agencies of the labels of prepackaged foods which have been imported.
Article 6 The exporters and manufactures which export prepackaged foods shall ensure that the labels of the export prepackaged foods conform to the standards of importing countries (regions) or contract requirements.
 
Chapter ⅢInspection and Supervision of Labels of Import Prepackaged Foods
 

Article 7 When applying for inspection, the importers of prepackaged foods or they agents shall submit materials as required in the regulations relating to inspection together with the following materials:

(1) Samples of Chinese labels; in case the labels are in foreign languages, both the foreign language labels and translated copies should be submitted;

(2) Materials evidencing the facts (including rewards, certificates, AOCs, geographical indication and other information; special ingredients, nutritional elements and contents, etc.) as indicated in the Chinese labels;

(3) Letter of Commitment, which should state that:

  1. Chinese labels have been affixed or printed, which conform to the sample submitted in the application for inspection and comply with the provisions of Chinese laws and regulations as well as requirements in Chinese national food safety standards;
  2. If the labels of prepackaged foods imported do not comply with the provisions of Chinese laws and regulations as well as requirements in Chinese national food safety standards, such prepackaged foods should be recalled on a voluntary basis according to Article 63 of the Food Safety Law.
Article 8 The inspection and quarantine agencies should conduct formal review of the materials submitted by enterprises in their application for inspection, as stated in (1) and (3) under Article 7. Should such materials be found incomplete, the application for inspection will be denied.
Article 9 According to the Administrative Regulations on the Procedures of Entry & Exit Inspection and Quarantine, the inspection and quarantine agencies should conduct inspections of labels of prepackaged foods which have been selected in random drawings, including:


(1) Onsite inspection: whether Chinese labels are affixed on prepackaged foods imported, whether Chinese labels conform to the application materials;

(2) Inspection of labels: To inspect the labels of prepackaged foods according to the provisions in the Foods Safety Law and other related laws and regulations and requirements in national food safety standards.

(3) The inspection and quarantine agencies should review the documents in respect of the prepackaged foods imported which have not been selected in random drawings on the basis of the letters of commitment provided by importers or they agents.

Article 10 Import shall be denied if false materials are provided. If the labels of import prepackaged foods do not comply with the provisions of Chinese laws and regulations as well as requirements in Chinese national food safety standards, such prepackaged foods shall not be imported.
Article 11 The inspection and quarantine agencies should conduct retrospective review of the labels and related materials submitted in applications for inspection in respect of the prepackaged foods which have been cleared through the customs. Should such labels and materials be found not in compliance with the provisions of Chinese laws and regulations as well as requirements in Chinese national food safety standards, a notice should be sent to relevant agencies on a timely basis as required in the Food Safety Law.
Article 12 Should the labels of prepackaged foods imported be found unqualified on any occasion (including customer complaints, findings by other supervisory agencies which proved to be true), the inspection and quarantine agencies should strengthen supervision over the importers of such foods. When such importers import prepackaged foods for another time, they should, in addition to submitting the materials as required under Article 7, clarify that each item of information indicated on the label conforms to the provisions of Chinese laws and regulations as well as requirements in Chinese national food safety standards, and provide inspection reports to evidence any and all quantity indications on the label.
For importers under strengthened supervision, normal supervision will be resumed if no label has been found unqualified for 12 consecutive months or 60 consecutive batches of prepackaged foods since the strengthened supervision is carried out.
 


Chapter ⅣManagement in Respect of Labels of Export Prepackaged Foods

Article 13 When applying for inspection of export prepackaged foods, importers and manufacturers which export prepackaged foods should provide the entry & exit inspection and quarantine agencies with sample labels and their translated copies, together with letters of commitment stating that the labels of export prepackaged foods comply with the standards of the importing country (region) or contract requirements.
 


Chapter ⅤSupplementary Provisions

Article 14 According to relevant regulations, the following products are exempt from inspection and supervision in respect of import & export prepackaged foods: import of display products or samples; import of foods for tax free operations (except for offshore free duty products) or for use by embassies or consulates; export of foods for use by embassies or consulates or overseas personnel of Chinese enterprises.
Article 15 Import prepackaged foods brought into China by tourists or sent into China by post or express delivery services are subject to label supervision as per relevant regulations.
Article 16 These regulations shall be interpreted by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China.
Article 17 These regulations shall be implemented on October 1, 2018. In case of any previous regulations on the inspection, supervision and administration in respect of labels of import prepackaged foods found not in conformity with these regulations, these regulations shall prevail.