2021-41: Plant Export Operations – Updated requirements for food manufacturers exporting to China

15 July 2021


This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to advise manufacturers of food exported to China that new Chinese requirements for imported food and overseas food establishments will take effect 1 January 2022.

Summary of changes and key points

  • Effective 1 January 2022, all manufacturers and exporters of food to China must be registered with the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC).
  • The requirements capture a broad range of food products including low risk foods.
  • Additionally, food products exported to China will be subject to new labelling requirements.
  • Exporters are encouraged to work closely with their importers to continue to ensure compliance with China’s requirements.
  • Further advice will be issued as additional information becomes available. 


Food manufacturers’ responsibilities

Decrees 248 requires all food manufacturers, processors and storage facilities that handle food exported to China be registered with GACC in one of two ways:

  1. Registration through the competent authority (in Australia, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment), which will first require assessment and approval.

    This requirement applies to meat and meat products, casings, aquatic products, dairy products, edible bird’s nest and bird’s nest products, bee products, eggs and egg products, edible fats and oils, stuffed wheaten food, edible grains, milled grain industry products and malt, fresh and dehydrated vegetables and dry beans, condiments and seasonings, nuts and seeds, dry fruits, unroasted coffee beans and cocoa beans, food for special dietary uses and health food.
    Note: Health food refers to food that claims to have specific health functions or aims to supplement vitamins and minerals.

  2. Self-registration with GACC directly or via an agent or importer.

    This requirement is applicable for all foods other than those listed above.

Labelling changes

Foods must be labelled in Chinese, or Chinese and English (Decree 249, Article 30) and a GACC-issued registration number or the registration number approved by the competent authority of the exporting country (Decree 248, Article 15) must be displayed on both the inner and outer packaging.

Next steps

  • We are seeking implementation guidance from China and working on processes for implementation.
  • To assist this effort, please provide questions or comments on the decrees to your industry body for forwarding to us.
  • Exporters are encouraged to work closely with their importers to continue to ensure compliance with China’s requirements.
  • Further advice will be issued as it becomes available. 

Contact information

If you have any questions or comments regarding this IAN please email the Grain and Seed Export Program or the Horticulture Exports Program.

David Ironside
Assistant Secretary
Plant Export Operations Branch

Last reviewed: 15 July 2021
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