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Post Event: China’s Food Supervision Mechanism and Compliance Risk Worth Attention

11. February 2022
3 min

Selling food products

On June 4th, Enterprise Estonia’s Export Advisor in China, Ilaria Perla, moderated a webinar on the market access requirements for exporting food and beverage products to China. Guests speakers were Rafael Jimenez, Project Manager for China at the Estonia-Asia Trade Agency and Anne Peng, responsible for regulatory consultancy in the F&B department at Reach24H consulting group.

Opening topic of the webinar, was the overview of the F&B sector in China after COVID-19. Rafael informs that in the recent speech of Premier Li Keqiang on May 21st during the annual Two Sessions, it can be understood that focus of the government is to “ensure the food supply“ suggesting that the foreign f&b industry will always have an opportunity in China.

By looking at the statistics of the Retail Sales of Consumers Goods from the China Nantional Bureau of Statitics, we can understand that although a fall in sales was recorded at the beginning of the lockdown period, the lifting of the measures is reflecting into a recovery of the sector.

Finally, Rafael points out that, in the aftermath of the epidemic situation, the Chinese Government is looking to pull the economy up and a system to do it is to increase consumption, also by giving consumers a selection of choices. For this reason, and because Europe is considered a powerhouse in terms of f&b and agricultural products, we believe that the Chinese market it is definitely worth it to explore the opportunities of exporting.

Going further, Anne, presented the Chinese compliance system by introducing the departments that regulate the imports of regular, special and disease treating products. Anne also presente the process flow for a product to be accepted by the Chinese customs and case studies of products which were not accepted for not being entirely compliant with the regulations.

Aside from the regular food supervision system, Anne explained what are special foods in China and the differences in the market access requirements between infant formula, health food and food for special medical purposes (FSMP).

Topics that attracted the attention of the participating companies were:

  • Organic food compliance in China: in China, same as in the EU, “organic food” is a claim that has its own certification and for which an application should be submitted;
  • Chinese labels: when exporting products to China, it is crucial to follow the Chinese market regulation to prepare the Chinese label of a product, which needs to be checked and approved by Chinese customs;
  • Consumers behavior towards organic food and health food: Anne, starting also from personal experience, shares that the Chinese consumers are growing more and more interest towards healthy and organic products, so it can definitely attract the attention of the consumers;
  • Regarding FSMP, in China the criteria for FSMP are quite high, as the decision will be based on the R&D and supporting materials that can assess the scientific base of the formulation.

If you missed the webinar, you may watch the recording.

And if any question you may reach out to us at any time.

Ilaria Perla
Export Adviser for China of Estonia-Asia Trade Agency
[email protected]
Rafael Jimenez
Project Manager for China of Estonia-Asia Trade Agency
[email protected]

The project is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

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