Comparison of Food Safety Supervision & Sampling Plan-- 2019 vs 2018 by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

On 25 December, 2018, State Administration for Marketing Regulation (SAMR) solicited public opinions on 2019 Food Safety Supervision &Sampling Plan.

Global Foodmate recently compared 2019 Food Safety Supervision & Sampling Plan (hereafter referred to as ‘2019 VERSION’) with 2018 Food Safety Supervision & Sampling Plan (hereafter referred to as ‘2018 VERSION’), and now briefly introduces the changes in food categories and sampling items.

Revision of food categories:

2019 VERSION shows a more detailed classification of food categories, which includes 181 food categories and 14 more than that in 2018 VERSION (167 food categories).

Changes of food categories are as follows:

a. Revising names of 2 food categories:

‘Deeply processed aquatic products’ is revised as ‘Other aquatic products’, ‘Bottled (barreled) of drinking water’ is revised as ‘Packaged drinking water’.

b. Adding 2 food categories:

‘Food supplements for pregnant and lactating women’ and ‘Salt’.

c. Elaborating 2 food categories:

‘Other edible oils (semi-refined, fully refined)’ is classified into ‘Rapeseed oil’, ‘Soybean oil’, ‘Edible plant blending oil’ and ‘Other edible oils (semi-refined, fully refined)’.

‘Sugar (white granulated sugar, white soft sugar, brown granulated sugar, rock sugar, cube sugar, golden slab sugar, etc.)’ is classified into ‘White granulated sugar’, ‘White soft sugar, ‘Brown granulated sugar’, ‘Brown sugar’, ‘Rock sugar’, ‘Cube sugar’, ‘Golden slab sugar’ and ‘Other sugars’.

The sampling items of the elaborated food categories are also clearly specified.

Revision of sampling items:

a. Increasing sampling items of 51 food categories

b. Decreasing sampling items of 99 food categories

c. Revising sampling items of 13 food categories

Press release: link

Analysis - Fraud and False Propaganda of Food and Health Food by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

In July, 2017, 9 Chinese authorities including the Food Safety Office of the State Council jointly issued the Notice of Rectification Work on Fraud and False Propaganda of Food and Health Food.Since the rectification work was carried out, local food regulatory authorities have collected many illegal evidences by conducting thorough investigations and random inspections, receiving complaints and reports from the public.

On 29 June, 2018, in order to further strengthen the supervision of food and health and to provide a friendlier environment for consumers, the rectification work was extended to the end of 2018.

Till the end of October, 2018, food regulatory authorities at all levels investigated and punished 49,000 cases of violations with goods worth 1.71 billion RMB and the police arrested 8,900 criminals. In addition, SAMR announced 10 cases of food fraud and false propaganda recently in December, 2018.

Global Foodmate analysed the published cases and found out the main methods for fraud and false propaganda of food and health food are as follows: 

1. Conducting food production and operation activities without permission

2. Selling imported prepackaged food without Chinese label

3. Producing foods that are not within the approved contents

4. Unauthorised changes of production processes

5. Illegal addition of non-edible substances such as drugs

6. Illegal promotion via such as conference, health lectures, expert hotline, internet, TV, radio, etc.

7. Claims of disease prevention or treatment

8. Labeling with false or illegal advertisement

9. Bogus products

10. Other violations

SAMR always be very stringent about the fraud and false propaganda of food and health food and will severely punish the violation activities. Meanwhile, authorities will promptly take control measures of the involved food and identify the source of the food. Authorities also supervise involved enterprises in order to promptly recall, suspend selling, destroy or conduct other measures to prevent the involved food re-entering into the market.

A recent case:

Illegal conference of promotion food held by Hongrui Lebang Company (hereafter referred to as ‘COMPANY’). In August, 2018, the COMPANY misled elderly people by ‘brain-wash’ promotion to believe that the collagen peptide solid drinks sold by COMPANY have the disease treatment function.

Illegal fact:

The activity violated Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of Anti-Unfair Competition Law of the People's Republic of China, which was deemed as false propaganda. 

Penalty result:

A penalty of 1 million RMB was imposed to COMPANY. Given the fact that COMPANY did not cooperate with the investigation and deliberately concealed the illegal facts. Furthermore, the amount of money involved was huge and the social influence was bad. COMPANY was suspected of committing crimes and was transferred to the police department.

Press release: link

Market and Regulation Review of Sports Nutrition Food in China by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

1. What is sports nutrition food in China?

(1) According to GB 24154-2015 National Food Safety Standard General Standard for Sports Nutrition Food, the definition of sports nutrition food in China is:

Food specially processed to meet the physiological metabolic state, athletic ability and special requirements for certain nutrients of sports population (refers to people who participate in physical exercise 3 times or more per week, each time lasts for 30 min or more, and each time exercise intensity reaches medium or above)

(2) Sports nutrition food belongs to the FSDU (Food for Special Dietary Uses)

The FSDU is divided into the following 4 categories:

       a. Infant formula food

       b. Infant auxiliary food

       c. Food for special medical purpose (FSMP)

       d. Others (Including auxiliary food supplements, sports nutrition food and other special dietary foods with corresponding national standards)

2. Market development trend of sports nutrition industry in China

(1) Fast growth of the sports nutrition food market in China with promising future

Since 2015, the sports nutrition food market in China has been rapidly growing with a market size of $ 206.1 million in 2017. The market size of sports nutrition food in China experienced a CAGR of 37.3% between 2013-2017. The year on year growth in 2017 reached 47% and is far higher than that in global and American markets. The market of sports nutrition food in China is still in an early development stage and a large potential awaits to be fulfilled.

(2) China issued a series of favorable policies to support the sports nutrition industry which brought great opportunities for development:

      a. Several Opinions on Accelerating Development of the Sports Industry to Promote Sports Consumption (No.46)

      b. The ‘13th Five-Year Plan’ for Sports Development 

      c. National Fitness Program (2016-2022)

      d. Health China 2030

      e. Ice and Snow Sports Development Plan (2016-2025)

      f. National Nutrition Program (2017-2030)

(3) The growing enthusiasm for national fitness is booming the development of sports nutrition industry. The proportion of the sports population in China is not high but there is an obvious sign of rise and giant development space compared with the developed countries, which indicates huge consumption potential. Meanwhile, with the increases of GDP per capita, the pursuit by the public of food nutrition and health shows great-leap-forward development. More and more attention has been paid to all kinds of sports food under segmented scenes, and the consumers yearn for the safe, nutritious, healthy and qualified foods and are more likely to choose the brand enterprises.

3. Regulations and standards review and production permission of sports nutrition food in China

(1) During 2004-2015, Chinese government promoted the establishment of regulations and standards of sports nutrition food, which granted sports nutrition food the legal position in Chinese market.

2004—Proposed to establish Chinese General Standard for Sports Nutrition Food

2006—Promulgated and implemented 5 Sports Nutrition Food Industry Standards

2009—Promulgated and implemented National Standard for Sports Nutrition Food

2015—Promulgated National Food Safety Standard General Standard for Sports Nutrition Food

(2) According to the product property and sports characteristics, sports nutrition food is divided into 6 categories:

       a. Protein supplement

       b. Speed powder class

       c. Endurance class

       d. Energy control class

       e. Energy supplementary class

        f. Post-exercise recovery class


(3) SC (production license) of sports nutrition food in China

For now, only 3 provinces/ municipalities, namely Beijing (12 July, 2017), Guangdong (19 June, 2018), Heilongjiang (29 September, 2018) in China have issued the Sports Nutrition Food Review Program (Trial) where enterprises could be granted SC for sports nutrition food.

(4) Labeling regulations for sports nutrition food

GB 7718-2011 National Food Safety Standard General Principles for Labels of Prepackaged Food stipulates the basic labeling requirements for labels of prepackaged food (including FSDU). GB 13432-2013 National Food Safety Standard Label of Prepackaged FSDU) stipulates the special labeling requirements of FSDU. The labels of FSDU shall be in accordance with GB7718 and GB13432. For prepackaged FSDU that meets the content claim requirements of GB13432, if functional claims are made on energy and/or nutrition ingredients, the terms of functional claims shall be the standard terms of functional claims specified in GB 28050-2011 National Food Safety Standard General Principles for Nutrition Labels of Prepackaged Food.

Press release: link

Can Imported Infant Formula Catch the Express Train of Cross-border E-commerce (CBEC) under the New Policy in China? by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

The imported infant formula has been very popular in the cross-border e-commerce field, the purchasing volume has been growing over the years. Recently, 3 notices about cross-border e-commerce retail were published by Chinese authorities, which will all come into force on 1 January, 2019.


(1) Notice of 6 Ministries including Ministry of Commerce about ‘Strengthening the Supervision of Cross-border E-commerce Retail’ (hereafter referred to as ‘NOTICE’) (published on 28 Nov., 2018).

(2) Notice of 3 Ministries including Ministry of Finance about ‘Improving the import Tax Policy of Cross-border E-commerce Retail’ (published on 29 Nov., 2018).

(3) Notice of 13 Ministries including Ministry of Finance about ‘Adjusting the List of Cross-border E-commerce Retail import Products’ (hereafter referred to as ‘LIST’) (published on 20 Nov., 2018).

According to the NOTICE, products (ONLY for self-use, reselling prohibited) imported via cross-border e-commerce channel will no longer be required for the first-time import license, registration or filing since 1 January, 2019, which will be considered as personal use and will be applicable to the following 37 pilot cities:

Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Tangshan, Hohhot, Shenyang, Dalian, Changchun, Harbin, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Yiwu, Hefei, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Nanchang, Qingdao, Weihai, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Changsha, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Nanning, Haikou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Guiyang, Kunming, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Pingtan.

Products with tariff number of 19011010 ‘Formulated milk powder’ are found in the LIST and infant formula belongs to this category. Meanwhile, the remark of ‘excluding the infant formula that is required for registration by Food Safety Law’ for ‘Formulated milk powder’ that occurred in the previous version of list in 2016 is also deleted.

In conclusion, importing infant formula via cross-border e-commerce does not require to obtain the formulation registration approval in those 37 pilot cities. However, infant formula that is imported in non-pilot cities still is subject to market supervision through general trade and needs to register its formulation according to relevant laws and regulations.

The new import policy of cross-border e-commerce retail brings great benefit to some overseas enterprises that have not obtained the approval of formulation registration in China. Global Foodmate believes that the implementation of the new import policy will also further expand the import scale of mainstream products such as milk powder via cross-border e-commerce channel.

Press release: link

GB7718 Interpretation "Pre-packaged Food Labeling Standards" Opinion Draft by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

On November 26th, 2018, the National Food Safety Standards Review Committee issued the GB7718-201X "General Rules for the Labelling of Prepackaged Foods" drafting for comments. Global Foodmate compiled the important changes and main modifications in the following contents:

 (1) Terms and definitions

1. Increase the attribute name definition. “Special characteristics of one or more foods such as ingredient characteristics, process characteristics, food category”.

2. Modify the date of manufacture: "The date the food becomes the final product."

 (2) Basic requirements

1. Adjusted the requirement to use foreign or traditional characters at the same time. It may include the following two conditions:

1) pre-packaged food produced domestically but exported to other countries or regions;

2) imported pre-packaged food.

2. When the maximum surface area of the package or packaging container of the prepackaged food is more than 40 square centimeter, the height of the text, symbol and number of the mandatory labeling content shall not be less than 2.0 mm.

(3) Label Content

1. Added provisions for the labeling requirement of imported prepackaged foods.

2. Revised the regulations on food names.

3. Revised a number of provisions in the ingredient list.

(1) The basis for determining the order of declining ingredients is “calculated by quality”.

(2) Marking of compounded ingredients composition: When all or part of the original ingredients in the compound ingredients are the same as the other ingredients in the food, the relevant ingredients may also be combined and calculated according to the decreasing order of the total amount in the final product.

(3) Food additive labeling rules: It is required to use the food additive INS number instead of the specific name of the food additive when the label area is less than 40 square centimeter.

4. Revised part of the quantitative labeling of ingredients content.

(1) Emphasis on the addition of a certain ingredient: Emphasize the need to indicate the content when adding or containing ingredients, and explain the specific way of quantitative labeling.

(2) Reference to a certain ingredient or ingredient in the name of the food: the amount of the ingredient or ingredient added or the amount in the finished product should be indicated.

(3) Emphasize that there is no or no added ingredient: the standard revision adds provisions for the words “none” and “excluding”. When these words are required, the corresponding ingredients or ingredients should be “0”. .

5. Adjusted the relevant description of net content and specifications.

The manner in which the various casings of animal or plant origin are marked is clearly indicated by the length "meter".

6. Increased the requirements for the origin of imported prepackaged food.

7. Adjusted the relevant requirements for date marking.

8. Clearly import foods do not need to be marked with a production license number.

9. Adjusted the requirements for sensitizing substance labeling:

(1) Mandatory labeling: Direct use of sensitizing substance ingredients in production and processing. However, if non-protein parts are used, they are exempt from labeling.

(2) suggestive labeling: sensitizing substances may be introduced during production and processing

10. Add requirements for special approved foods.

11. Added provisions on the labeling of food groups:

a) foods requiring special approval;

b) foods for specific food groups have been specified in national standards, industry standards and local standards;

c) Foods that have been sufficiently scientifically proven to meet the special nutritional needs of different populations.

12. Exemption from the relevant labeling content.

A pre-packaged food ingredient list made from a single ingredient is exempt from the ingredients that have been volatilized or removed during processing.

Press release: link

From January 1, 2019, Both China and Australia Are Going to Exempt Most of Customs Duties by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

On November 8th, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held the fifth round of China-Australia diplomatic and strategic dialogue with Australian Foreign Minister Payne in Beijing.

According to the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, since 2015, China and Australia have carried out four tariff reductions, and imports of goods tariffs from Australia have begun to gradually reduce. A considerable number of commodities will achieve zero tariffs within five years. China and Australia will carry out the fifth round of tariff concessions on New Year's Day in 2019. By then, almost all goods in bilateral trade will enjoy zero tariffs.

At present, China is Australia's largest trading partner and the largest export destination country. Australia is China's sixth largest export destination. In 2017, the bilateral trade volume between China and Australia was US$136.26 billion, increased by 25.9% compared to the year-on-year data.

Australian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said: "From January 1th, 2019, after 8 weeks, all Chinese goods entering Australia will be exempt from customs duties. China will also cancel the import product customs tariffs on a range of Australian products, including wine, infant formula and hone that have been exhibited on the CIIE".

In addition, Chinese and Australian companies signed 11 agreements which will effect for 5 years with a total value of nearly 15 billion Australian dollars (about 75.8 billion yuan). Covers a range of industries including travel, resources, infrastructure, e-commerce, and logistics services.

Press release: link

What Infant Food Supplements Are Unqualified in the "National Inspection" ? by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

On November 13th, the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR)issued a sampling notice. The General Administration of the People's Republic of China recently conducted random inspections on 11 batches of special dietary foods from 6 enterprises in 4 provinces. One batch of infant food supplements failed to pass the sampling test, and the others were all qualified.

1.Unqualified product situation:

A batch of fruit and wheat flour infant food supplements with the trademark "momo", the origin of the product in Taiwan, China, the sodium detection value in the sampling is lower than the labeled amount “80% of the value” indicated on the product packaging label.

2.Unqualified analysis:

According to GB10769 National food safety standard Cereal-based complementary foods for infants and young children: sodium content ≤ 24.0mg/100kJ, the label value in this product is 6.09mg/10kJ, in line with product standards.

In the actual sampling process, the actual detection value of sodium for the product is 3.09mg/100kJ, which is lower than the labeled amount 80% of the product label value, which violates the GB13432 (National Food Safety Standard Prepackaged Special Dietary Food Label) section 4.3. 3 The actual content of energy and nutrients should not be less than 80% of the indicated value and should meet the requirements of the corresponding product standards.

3.Sampling inspection of unqualified products:

The food production enterprises and importers are enforced to trace their flow of products, recall unqualified products, analyze the reasons for rectification, and immediately take measures such as taking off the shelves and stopping sales to control the risks.

Press release: link

Notice on Organizing Drafting Technical Guidelines for Clinical Trials of Specific Full Nutrition FSMP Issued by SAMR by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

In order to improve FSMP registration management, guide the clinical trials research and standardize the clinical trials process of specific full nutrition FSMP, ensure the scientificity and reliability of clinical trials results, protect the safe rights of consumers, the SAMR plans to public solicitate the research institutes on the technical guidelines for clinical trials of specific full nutrition FSMP. The notice is as follows:

1.The projects information

The technical guidelines for clinical trials of specific full nutrition FSMP for 8 diseases types including respiratory disease will be organized.

2.Requirements for applicants

The applicant shall be a drug clinical trial institution in the relevant field with the nutrition department and professional department related to FSMP studied and meet the conditions to carry out clinical trials research on FSMP, also has the preliminary scientific basis and relevant research work experience that could provide corresponding guarantee conditions to ensure to complete the drafting of technical guidelines timely and quality.

3.The application method and deadline

Please fill in the application form of the technical guidelines for clinical trials of specific full nutrition FSMP according to the requirements, and send the paper version (sealed, in triplicate) and the electronic version to the special food division of the SAMR before

Press release: link

A Picture to Know Cross-Border E-Commerce Import Retail Policy by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

On the 21st of November, Premier Li Keqiang chaired the State Council executive meeting and decided to continue and improve the cross-border e-commerce retail import policy and expand the scope of application, and expand the opening to stimulate the consumption potential. Global Foodmate has reviewed the changes in cross-border e-commerce retail import policies and the latest policy contents in recent years in the form of long picture. Please the image via the following link

The Newly Infant Formula Registration Approval List in China by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

On October 17, 2018, the State Administration of Markets and Regulation(SAMR) announced the latest batch of approved infant formula registration, including 18 formulas from Zhangjiakou Chaer Dairy Co., Ltd. and Hulunbeier Newtech Dairy Co., Ltd. (See the table in the end of the article).


According to the statistics from Global Foodmate, compare this batch to the last time (August 14, 2018) registered milk powder formula companies approval list, all the brands are domestic dairy brands in China. As of today, 1,195 recipes have been approved. Among them, there are 918 formulas registered by domestic enterprises, and 277 formulas of overseas enterprises are registered.


Since February of this year, the speed of work related to the registration of milk powder formula has started to slow down from the second half of last year. According to sources from the industry, there are still more than 100 overseas formulations that have already submitted applications that have not yet been approved.


In fact, the current regulatory authorities have also given guidance on new situations that have emerged during the advancement of the milk powder formula registration process. On July 26th, the State Administration of Market Regulation issued an announcement on the official website on the public consultation for the “Guidelines for the Registration of Ingredients for the Formulation of Infant Formula Milk Powder Products (Draft for Comment)”: According to the above announcement, during the validity period of the registration certificate, under the conditions that the types of raw materials are unchanged, the order of ingredients and the table of nutrients are unchanged, the use of food raw materials and food additives during actual production is allowed to be reasonably fluctuated or adjusted within a certain range, and enterprises do not need to apply for product formula change registration. However, if there is a significant difference before and after the product formula change, the nutrient composition table changes, and the type of production process (wet process, dry process, dry-wet combination process) changes, it is not within the scope of product formula change, the enterprise should re-apply for Product formula registration.

Press release: link

Source: Global Foodmate

GAC | SAMR Announcement on FSMP Registration Verification Certificate by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

In order to further optimize the business environment at the port and improve the level of cross-border trade facilitation, the General Administration of Customs and the State Administration of Market Regulation have decided to implement electronic data network verification for five types of regulatory documents such as the Registration Verification Certificate for Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP). The relevant matters are hereby announced as follows:

1. From the date of publication of the announcement,which is October 17th 2018, the “Registration Verification Certificate for FSMP”, “Health Food Registration Certificate or Health Food Filing Certificate” and “Infant Formula Milk Powder Product Formula Registration Certificate” (hereinafter referred to as the certificate) will be implemented nationwide and checked through networked verification of electronic data and electronic data of import and export goods declarations.

2. Starting from November 1, 2018, the implementation of the "Compulsory Product Certification Certificate or Proof document", "Special Equipment Manufacturing License and Type Test Certificate" electronic data and verify the electronic data of import and export goods declaration form have been implemented nationwide.

3. The relevant departments from SAMR shall issue certificates according to relevant laws and regulations, and transmit the electronic data of the documents to the GAC. The customs shall conduct verification check in the customs clearance and handle the import and export procedures as required. The network can verify the documents issued before the implementation, and the enterprise can handle the import and export procedures with the customs within the validity period.

4. Customs declaration agency enterprises may declare to the customs in a paperless manner in accordance with the provisions of the paperless reform of customs clearance operations. Due to the audit requirements of the customs and SAMR’s departments or computer management systems, communication network failures, etc., it can be transferred to a paper customs declaration or additional paper documents.

5. Enterprises can log in to China's international trade “single window” to check the electronic data transmission status of the documents.

6. The China Custom Port Electronic Data Center is the technical support department for network verification information.

Press release: link

Source: Global Foodmate

Letter from the SAMR on Public Consultation Opinions on the Naming of Health Foods (Draft for Comment) by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

In order to further standardize the name of health food products, according to the "Regulations on the Registration and Recording of Health Foods" and the "Detailed Rules for the Examination and Approval of Health Food Registration and Review" (2016 Edition), the SAMR organized the drafting of the Health Food Naming Guide. (Draft for Comment), is now open for comments.

Health Food Naming Guide (draft for comments)

In order to standardize the registration and filing of health food product names, in accordance with the “Regulations on the Registration and Filing of Health Foods” (hereinafter referred to as the “Measures”), “Working Rules for the Examination and Approval of Health Food Registration and Review” (2016 Edition), etc., develop this guide. This guide applies to the registration and filing of health food products within the territory of the People's Republic of China.

1. The basic principles of health food naming

(1) It complies with relevant national laws and regulations.

(2) Follow the rule of one product only corresponding with one name.

(3) Reflecting the true attributes of the product,using concise, easy to understand  lines with Chinese language habits.

(4) It shall not involve the claims such as prevention and treatment of diseases, and shall not mislead or deceive consumers.

2. The health food name composition

The name of the health food consists of the trade name, the common name, and the attribute name.

3. The health food content may not contain:

(1) The trade name and common name shall not contain the following contents:

i)       Words that are false, exaggerated, or absolute;

ii)     Words that express or suggest disease prevention and treatment functions;

iii)    Vulgar or words with feudal superstition;

iv)    Words such as human tissues and organs;

v)     Symbols other than "®";

vi)    Other words that mislead consumers.

The name of the health food shall not contain the names of people, places, Hanyu Pinyin, letters and numbers, etc., except that the registered trademarks have the names of the raw materials containing the letters and numbers that conform to the state regulations.

(2) The generic name may not contain the following contents:

i)        The generic name of the registered drug, except for the name of the raw material or the approval of the health food registration;

ii)       The name of the health function or the text related to the health function of the product;

iii)     Abbreviated names of raw materials that are misleading;

iv)      Other words prohibited by laws and regulations.

4. The health food name declaration and review requirements

(1) Health food name and brand name declaration and review requirements

(2) Requirements for the declaration and review of the generic name of health food products

(3) Health food name and property name declaration and review requirements

(4) The same formula and the same name declaration and review requirements

(5) Declaration and review requirements for special labelling of health food names

Press release: link

Source: Global Foodmate

How to Dispose of Food Beyond Expiration Date And Recycled Food? by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

Improper handling of expired food cause major food safety issues.

At present, many supermarkets and distributors often return the food near or beyond the expiration date to the manufacturer in order to save the cost of disposing expired food. This is a common practice in the food industry, even many distributors have written it into their contracts with the manufacturers.

So How to dispose of foods beyond their expiration date and recycled foods? What are the laws and regulations for foods beyond their expiration date and recycled food in China?


1. Expiration date

Expiration date means the date which signifies the end of the period under any storage conditions stated on the label of the prepackaged food, during which the quality of the product will be preserved and the product will remain fully marketable and retain the specific qualities for which tacit or express claims have been made on its label.(GB 7718-2011)

The expiration date of prepackaged food is the period to maintain the quality of food, which is exactly the best edible period. It is determined by the producer after scientific verification and provided to consumers through labels and other means.(Implementation guide for GB 7718-2011)

The expiration date is the time limit for food to maintain quality under certain storage environment parameters such as temperature, humidity and light.(T/CNFIA 001-2017)

2. Recycled food

According to the notice of former AQSIQ on the issues about prohibiting the use of recycled food as raw materials in food production and processing, the recycled food includes:

(1) all kinds of food and semi-finished products recycled by food production and processing enterprises within expiration date;

(2) all kinds of food and semi-finished products that have exceeded the expiration date recycled by food production enterprises;

(3) stop selling products for various reasons and returned all kinds of food and semi-finished products to food manufacturer and processing enterprises by wholesalers and retailers;

(4) all kinds of food and semi-finished products detained and confiscated by administrative law enforcement agencies due to product quality and safety problems.

II. How to dispose of food beyond expiration date and recycled food?

1. National laws and regulations

1) Food Safety Law

Article 54: food traders shall store food in accordance with the requirements for ensuring food safety, regularly check the food stock and clean up food timely that has gone bad or has exceeded the shelf life.

2) Notice of the former CFDA on further strengthening the supervision of food beyond the expiration date

Shall clean up the food timely and take measures such as discontinue operation and separate storage to withdraw from the market. If food traders and food producers or suppliers have provisions for the food return, they shall go through the return procedures in time according to the contract.

Shall dispose food beyond their expiration date and recycled food strictly. Food producers and marketers shall comply with the provisions of the food safety law and other laws and regulations, carry out harmless treatment or destruction (packaging shall be destroyed at the same time), and can also be converted into feed or fertilizer through recycling by qualified corporations. If destruction is necessary, it shall be done by itself or by a authorization to destroy the food according to the specific situation such as the variety and quantity of the food to be destroyed, and it shall not affect food safety again.

Food producers and operators shall establish food standing books to record the expiration date of their food products. Record truthfully and keep the available image data, and keep the related records for at least two years.

3) Notice on prohibiting using the recycled food as raw materials in food production and processing

The records shall include the product name, specification, batch number, production date, return date, return quantity, destruction site, destruction method, destruction quantity, destruction time, personnel in charge, etc. More than 2 persons should be present and sign when destroying the food.

2. Local laws and regulations

In addition to the national laws and regulations mentioned above, some municipal laws and regulations have their own requirements:

The Heilongjiang province food safety act stipulates food producers and traders shall regularly check the food stock and sales of food, food raw materials, if food, food raw material are found that has been deteriorating or exceed the expiration date, it shall be immediately stopped using for food production and sales, and disposal or destroy, and to set up a disposing or destroyed records, It shall not be returned to the suppliers or producers. The record shall be kept for at least two years.

The Shanghai city food safety act stipulates that food producers and operators are prohibited from returning food and food additives beyond expiration date to the relevant production and marketing enterprises.

The measures for the administration of food products near and beyond expiration date of Guangzhou also stipulates that food operators shall remove food products from shelves, sort, check, seal and keep records in a timely manner, and shall not return the products to food suppliers. The destroyed food shall be disposed in accordance with the relevant provisions. In addition, large and medium-sized food supermarkets shall set up special food sites for centralized destruction beyond expiration date, install video monitoring equipment, and clearly record the food destruction process. The record keeping period of video monitoring data shall be at least 30 days. The food producer or business operator shall fill in the transfer list, and the term of preservation of the transfer list shall not be at least 2 years.

III. Summary

At present, the main disposal methods for food beyond expiration date and recycled food by national laws and regulations are timely cleaning, harmless treatment, self-destruction or commissioned destruction, and establishing the destruction records and the available video data are kept synchronously. Relevant records shall be kept for at least two years.

In addition, Guangzhou also stipulated that the destroyed food should be treated comply with the relevant provisions of garbage disposal. Where large and medium-sized food supermarkets self-destruct foods beyond expiration date, they shall also set up special food sites where centralized destruction is taking place. Food producers and traders entrusted with the destruction shall also fill in the delivery list, and the storage term of the delivery list shall be at least 2 years.

Can expired food be returned to the manufacturer? According to the notice issued by former CFDA, if food traders have provisions on the return of food with food producers or suppliers, the return procedures shall be handled timely according to the contract. If the expired food returned to the manufacturer, the potential risk of re-entering the market after a makeover cannot be fundamentally eliminated. At present, some regions have more stringent regulations. Shanghai, Heilongjiang and Guangzhou have all banned food producers from returning food/raw materials beyond expiration date to their suppliers or producers.

Press release: link

From October 1, 2018, the "QS" Logo may no longer be used in Food Production by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

The newly revised Food Safety Law was implemented as early as October 1, 2015. As a new amendment to the Food Safety Law, the Food and Drug Administration Regulations formulated by the former China Food and Drug Administration. The method is also implemented simultaneously. In order to guide local food and drug supervision and administration departments to conscientiously implement the production license system for food (including food additives, the same below), the State Food and Drug Administration issued a notice on the relevant matters implemented by the Measures. The notice clarifies that from October 1, 2018, food produced by food producers may no longer use the original packaging, labels and "QS" mark.

Please note: the food "QS" logo has been phased out; replaced by "SC" plus 14 Arabic numbers

After the implementation of the Measures, the food “QS” mark has been phased out within three years.

The legal basis for the “QS” mark on food packaging was “Regulations on the Administration of Production Licenses for Industrial Products”. With the adjustment of food supervision and management institutions and the implementation of the new Food Safety Law, the Regulations on the Administration of Production Licenses for Industrial Products It is no longer the basis for food production licenses.

Therefore, the elimination of food "QS" is strictly enforced by laws and regulations, because the new "Food Safety Law" clearly stipulates that the food production license number should be marked on the food packaging. Also,the food production license mark is not required to be marked. Second, the new food production license number can fully meet the purpose of identification and inquiry. The new food production license number is composed of the letters "SC" plus 14 Arabic numerals. Third, the abolition of the “QS” mark is conducive to enhancing the food producer's awareness of food safety.

From October 1, 2018, the "QS" logo may not be used in food production.

After the implementation of the Measures, the newly certified food producers shall mark the new food production license number on the food packaging or label, and no longer mark the “QS” mark. In order to fully implement the new production licensing system as soon as possible, and to avoid the waste of producer packaging materials and food labels, the "Measures" gives producers a maximum of three years of transition, that is, production on October 1, 2018 and beyond. The food must not continue to use the original packaging and labeling and the "QS" logo.

What does the “food category code” mean in the food production license number?

The food and food additive category code is identified by 3 digits. Specifically, the first digit represents the food and food additive production license identification code, the Arabic number “1” stands for food, and the Arabic number “2” stands for food additive. The second and third digits represent the food and food additive category numbers.

The food category numbers are sequentially identified in the order of the food categories listed in Article 11 of the Measures for the Administration of Food Production Licenses, namely: “01” for food processed products, “02” for edible oils, oils and their products, and “03” for Condiments, and so on..., "27" stands for health food, "28" stands for special medical formula, "29" stands for infant formula, "30" stands for special diet, and "31" stands for other food.

The food additive category number identification is: "01" stands for food additive, "02" stands for food flavor, and "03" stands for compound food additive.

Once the food production license number is /confirm/ied, it will not change. When the license is extended or changed in the future, the license number will not change.

Press release: link

How to Import Food Products without Food Safety National Standards by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

For imported foods that do not have food safety national standards, how to export them to China?

Legal provisions

Article 93

For imported foods that do not have food safety national standards, the foreign exporters, overseas production enterprises or their entrusted importers shall submit relevant national (regional) standards or international standards to the health administrative department of the State Council. The health administrative department of the State Council examines the relevant standards and decides that it meets the food safety requirements, and decides to apply it temporarily, and formulates corresponding national food safety standards in a timely manner. imported foods or new varieties of imported food additives and new varieties of food-related products produced by using new food raw materials shall be handled in accordance with the provisions of Article 37 of this Law.

The entry-exit inspection and quarantine institutions shall, in accordance with the requirements of the health administrative department of the State Council, inspect the food, food additives and food-related products specified in the preceding paragraph. The test results should be made public.

Real Case Analysis

Mr. Li, the owner of a Chinese online store specializing in Southeast Asian snacks, often needs to travel to Malaysia and Thailand. In February 2017, Mr. Li imported a special local snack products from Malaysia that is unique in color, flavor and taste. However, at the time of returning to the country for security inspection, the Customs inspected the food carried by Mr. Li and found that there is no food safety national standard in China. In order to ensure food safety, the Customs detained the goods according to law. What should Mr. Li do?

Expert statement

In order to strengthen the review of the formulation and production process of imported foods and lower the risk of food safety, Article 93 of China's Food Safety Law stipulates that imported foods that do not have food safety national standards shall be exported by overseas exporters and overseas production enterprises. Or the entrusted importer submits the relevant national (regional) standards or international standards to the health administrative department of the State Council. In this case, since the food imported by Mr. Li has no corresponding food safety national standards in China, in order to protect the food safety of consumers and avoid food safety accidents after consumption, he should submit relevant implementation documents and national standards to the health administrative department of the State Council. After attaining the permit, which the products are approved by the department, the products can be sold in China.


China's laws stipulate the import food certification that does not yet have a food safety national standard. Food operators should strictly implement it, and relevant departments should conduct strict inspections.

Press release: link

Source: Global FOODMATE

The First Full-nutrition FSMP Approval Issued by SAMR by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

On August 7, 2018, the State Administration of Markets and Regulations (SAMR) issued information on the registration catalogue of FSMP. 

For the first time in the catalogue, a full-nutrition FSMP is approved. So far, except for the specific nutrition FSMP, the other three types of FSMP have products being approved. The "food" of the FSMP consumer has a better guarantee.

In terms of product categories, FSMP are mainly divided into infant formulas FSMP, non full-nutrition FSMP, full-nutrition FSMP and specific nutrition FSMP. 

Until now, the approval rate of infant formulas FSMP is 77%, still occupying the first place. Non full-nutrition FSMP ranked in second placed. The full-nutrition FSMP is approved for the first time, and it takes the third place. Only specific nutrition FSMP has not been approved, and it is expected there will be approved products in this category.

Look into the market share from the enterprises, there are currently six companies have products being registered, among which domestic companies include Beingmate and Suzhou Hengrui, and others are international enterprises. Overall, the approval rate of Abbott products accounted for 39% of the total approved products. Danone, Mead Johnson and Suzhou Hengrui ranked second with 15% respectively, and Nestlé and Beingmate ranked third.

Since November 2017, the former CFDA and the SAMR have successively published seven batches of catalogues for the registration of FSMP. Since June 2018, six products have been approved in less than two months. The only explanation is that the evaluation process is intensifying the approval on FSMP.

In the official news from the beginning of this year, 75 product registration cases of more than 20 domestic and foreign companies have been acceptted. Within half a year, the full-nutrition FSMP product has been approved for the first time, which add one more FSMP category to the FSMP family. Nowadays, infant formulas FSMP, non full-nutrition FSMP, and full-nutrition FSMP have been approved. only special nutrtion FSMP has not been approved. The main reason from the analysis of the Foodamte may be that specific nutrient FSMP needs to be clinically tested, and the company is preparing for clinical trials. The test is also taking nearly one to two years.

For more information on the previous registration details, please click here to see.

Press release: link

Source: Global FoodMate

The SAMR Publishes the Registration Approval List of Infant Formula by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

The State Administration of MarketsRegulations (SAMR) informed that on August 10, the SAMR approved the registration of 21 infant formulas for three companies. The approved enterprises are Shanxi Yashili Dairy Co., Ltd., Heilongjiang Youbeite Dairy Co., Ltd. and Hulunbeier Friendship Dairy (Group) Co., Ltd.

On August 10, 2018, the State Administration of Market Regulations approved the registration of 21 infant formula formulas for 3 companies.

Until now, the number of infant formulas that have been registered has reached 1,177. 

According to the data released by the former China Administration of Food and Drug Administration, on December 27, 2017, the China Food and Drug Administration accepted a total of 1,330 recipe applications. After the registration list was published, there were still about 150 recipes continue waiting for approval.

Press release: link

Cadmium Content in Cereals and Supplementary Foods for Infants and Young Children Will be Included in Food Safety Sampling by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

On July 25, the State Administration of Markets Regulations(SAMR) issued a notice to adjust the individual inspection items in the 2018 food safety sampling plan.

The notice clearly states that the determination of cadmium (in terms of Cd) in cereal supplements for infants and young children is included in the 2018 food safety sampling plan. This is based on the previous announcement by the National Health and Wellness Commission regarding the publication of the Interim Limit on Cadmium in Infant and Cereals.

The notice pointed out that according to the standard corrigendum issued by the food safety standard errata section of the National Food Safety Risk Assessment Center official website, the residual sulfur dioxide in sugar was included in the 2018 food safety sampling plan; the method for detecting folic acid and pantothenic acid in infant formula was revised. . The samples taken by each unit from the date of issuance of this notice and afterwards shall be supervised and sampled according to the content after the errata.

The notice requires that the China Food and Drug Control Research Institute, the food safety sampling inspection agencies and the provincial bureaus should pay close attention to the revision of the national food safety standards (including the limited value), timely adjust the food safety sampling program, and update the food safety. The national pumping and provincial pumping base tables in the Sampling Monitoring Information System.

Press release: link

Source: Global Foodmate

SAMR Seeks Public Comment on Technical Guidelines for the Registration of Infant Formula Milk Powder Products (Draft for Comment) by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

On July 24, 2018, the State Adminsitration of Market Regulation issued Technical Guidelines for the Registration of Infant Formula Milk Powder Products (Comment Draft), an notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public comment for further standardizing the registration of formula changes for infant formula product, and simplifying and optimizating the process. According to the "Regulations on the Registration of Formulas for Infant Formula Milk Powder Products" (formerly the China Food and Drug Administration(CFDA), Order No. 26) and related regulations, the State Adminsitration of Market Regulation organized the drafting of the Technical Guidelines for the Registration of Infant Formula Milk Powder Formulations. Principles (Draft for Comment).

Press release: link

Source: Global FoodMate

Solicitation of Opinions on 6 Items of Food Safety National Standards (Draft for Comment), Food Additives DL-Alanine by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

"Food Additives DL-Alanine", "Food Additives L-Threonine", "Food Additives β-Cyclodextrin", "Food Additives Chlorophyll Copper", "Food Additives Potassium metaphosphate" and "Food Additives" Acidic calcium pyrophosphate" 6 national food safety standards were included in the 2017 National Food Safety Standards Project, project number is spaq2017-018, spaq-2017-019, spaq-2017-020, spaq-2017-032spaq-2017 -031 and spaq-2017-035, China Food Fermentation Industry Research Institute Co., Ltd. and China Food Additives and Ingredients Association as the above-mentioned project undertakers, responsible for the organization of standards.


In accordance with the working procedures of the national food safety standards, the Standard Drafting Working Group put forward a standard draft for comments on the basis of research on relevant standard technical materials, industry research, sample testing, and data analysis. In order to make the standard more scientific, reasonable and applicable, the standard draft for comments is sent to all relevant units and relevant experts, and opinions are widely heard. Please make suggestions for revision and suggestions on the basis of careful research and fill out the “standard request for comments”. " (see Annex 1). Please return the comments and suggestions on the standard by mail, fax or lang before August 17, 2018. The standard drafting working group will modify the standard according to the reasonable suggestions collected.

Press release:

Source: Global FoodMate