Date of issue: 16 September 2022
Date of effect: Immediate
Do you hold a current listing for China and manufacture or process milk and milk products or infant formula that may be exported to China?
New requirements for milk and milk products and infant formula to be exported to China.
This Market Access Advice (MAA) is for export registered establishments who hold a current listing for China for milk and milk products or infant formula that are exported to China.
If you are currently supplying an exporter and are not sure if the product you manufacture is exported to China, you are encouraged to check with your customers / suppliers as this will affect their ability to import your product.
For milk and milk products and infant formula that are prescribed by Australia (which can be found on the department’s website) as well as non-prescribed goods that have been prescribed by China (which can also be found on the department’s website) to be able to be exported to China, export registered establishments in the Australian supply chain are required to be approved by and listed with China’s General Administration of Customs (GACC). GACC is responsible for the registration management of overseas manufacturers of foods imported into China.
Until December 2021, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (the department) requested listing for establishments manufacturing or processing milk and milk products and infant formula for export with GACC.
What is new?
On 1 January 2022, the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the Registration and Administration of Imported Food Overseas Production Enterprises (Decree 248) which is administered by GACC came into effect.
Decree 248 requires that overseas manufacturers of milk and milk products and infant formula that are imported to China (from all countries) need to obtain GACC registration and listing by making an application via GACCs web-based China Import Food Enterprise Registration (CIFER) system.
For establishments that previously appeared on the GACC website before the implementation of Decree 248, registrations remain valid and have already been moved into the CIFER system by GACC.
How do I know if my establishment is already listed in China's CIFER system?
Australian establishments that are registered with GACC in the CIFER system can be identified using the search function on the GACC ‘Registration information of overseas manufacturers of imported food’ website.
Does my establishment registration in CIFER expire?
Establishments should note that all existing registrations for supply of milk and milk products now have expiry dates. The expiry date indicated for all Australian establishments exporting milk and milk products (excluding infant formula) to China is 31 August 2023, while infant formula establishments may have an expiry date of 31 December 2022, 31 December 2023, or 31 December 2025. Establishment are encouraged to confirm their expiry dates using the public CIFER site.
Expiry dates are now indicated for all registrations. Additionally, GACC has advised it is mandatory for all establishments listed to up-date their company and product details in full before applying for a registration extension.
What do I have to do to maintain my GACC listing or apply for listing?
The process for updating, extending, or applying for GACC registration in CIFER requires you to:
- Obtain a temporary password to access CIFER from the department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, noting your establishment number(s)
- Complete your establishment details in the system by completing a ‘modification application’ and submitting this through CIFER
- When you apply – your information is sent to the department for verification before being sent on to GACC for consideration and approval.
Where can I get help or obtain more information?
You can contact the department’s CIFER registration team for further information via email at email@example.com or by calling 6272 5105. The department can issue passwords for accounts and can provide Help Cards to assist establishments through the process of updating your registration.
Please ensure that you regularly access the departments website for updates distributed through market access advices at: Market Access Advice Notices 2022. You can subscribe to receive Market Access Advice Notices via our email notification system. You may change or cancel your subscription at any time
Do I need to engage a consultant to assist me in this process?
There are consultancy services offering to assist to establishments in lodging CIFER applications. The decision to engage a consultant sits with the establishment. If you engage a consultant, please be advised that the department will not communicate directly with your consultant. All departmental communication will need to be with the establishment management.
Warning re illegitimate registration sites and communication:
The department is aware of websites purporting to provide GACC registration of overseas food manufacturers producing products for export to China and of unsolicited emails purporting to be from the GACC or other Chinese agencies (e.g. from the ‘GACC Registration Organisation’). The department highlights the risks of engaging with unverified agencies offering to help with GACC registration and recommends not to engage with emails (or other forms of communication) from unverified sources. An English translation of Decree 248 is available on GACC’s website.
The department reminds establishments that GACC does not charge any fees for the registration of overseas food production facilities.
This MAA has been prepared using information available at the time of publication. The information in this MAA is current at the date of publication but may change in the future.
The department will update this guidance when further information is available. Establishments should check this webpage frequently and subscribe to the department’s MAA updates to ensure they are aware of the most up-to-date information.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries.
The information provided in this advice is current at the time of writing and is intended for use as guidance only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. The Commonwealth endeavours to keep information current and accurate, however, it may be subject to change without notice. Exporters are encouraged to verify these details with their importers prior to undertaking production/exports. The Commonwealth will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on information contained in this notice.