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14 Dec '21
As of January 1, 2022, the Decree 248 “Registration and Administration of Overseas Producers of Imported Food” (“the Decree”) of the General Administration of Customs of China (“GACC”) (“Chinese customs”) will come into effect. Pursuant to this Decree, all foreign food producers, warehouses and (cold) storage facilities are required to register with Chinese customs from 1 January 2022. Ferah Taptik discusses the new Decree.
In Articles 7 and 8 of the Decree, the Chinese government uses two different types of registration procedures for food producers, warehouses and (cold) storage facilities (“the Companies”). For a group of 18 products with, according to China, an increased food safety risk, registration is done through the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (“NVWA”). This category includes: meat and meat products, sausage casings, aquatic products, dairy products, bird nest products, bee products, eggs and egg products, edible oils and fats, oilseeds, stuffed wheaten products, edible grains, milled grain industry products and malt, fresh and dehydrated vegetables, dried beans, condiments, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, unroasted coffee and cocoa beans, foods for special dietary purposes, and health foods. The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality has published a supplement to the aforementioned products on its website.
In addition, the website mentions a number of recommendations from the NVWA to make the registration process as efficient as possible. The NVWA also mentions the need for all Companies from the aforementioned sectors to supply the data in an uniform manner.
As from November 1, 2021, Companies in the other food categories must submit registration applications directly to the GACC. The GACC refers to the website: https://cifer.singlewindow.cn. According to the GACC, it takes companies about half an hour to register themselves. The website is available in both English and Chinese.
Finally, the Decree introduces a new obligation with regard to the labeling of foodstuffs. Under the Decree, Companies must display the company registration number on both the inner and outer packaging of foodstuffs exported to China. According to Mr. Qin Meishen, Manager of Food Technical Services Regulatory Consultant at China Certification & Inspection Group (CCIC), Chinese customs can also check the condition of the packaging and the presence of any harmful substances by taking samples of the product. In addition, Chinese customs can carry out checks on transport, storage and documents such as contracts and invoices.
The Decree thus entails various obligations for Companies in the relevant food categories, which obligations should be reflected in the contracts between the parties concerned. What happens if the exported goods are refused by Chinese customs, for example because of missing registrations or missing or insufficient import and export documents. The latter is usually accompanied by significant costs, unforeseen delays as well as lengthy (legal) discussions about the liability of parties. For the foregoing reasons, it is advisable to explicitly include the aforementioned obligations and the liability of the parties in the contract.
The specialists of our International Trade, Customs and Food Safety & Product Compliance team will be happy to assist you with drafting, amending or assessing your contracts in accordance with this new Decree. Thanks to our many years of experience in the Customs and Food safety practice, we can serve you quickly and effectively. If you have any questions on this topic, or in respect of other issues related to International Trade, Customs or Food safety/law, please contact one of our team members or contact Marijn van Tuijl (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly.
 The Decree 248 is currently only available in the Chinese language. USDA (United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service) has prepared an English translation of the Decree.
Expertises: Customs,Food safety & product compliance , Transport and Logistics,Customs, Trade & Logistics,Food, Customs and International Trade,Start-up en Scale-up,
Expertises: Food safety & product compliance ,Customs,Transport law, Food,Transport and Logistics,Customs, Trade & Logistics, Customs and International Trade,Enforcement and sanctions,International Sanctions and Export Controls,E-commerce,E-health,
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