On October 31, 2019, the official version of Regulations on Implementation of Food Safety Law of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as “the Regulation”) was issued, which will come into force on December 1, 2019. CIRS highlighted 7 key points appeared in the Regulation that may related to imported foods.
1. National Food Safety Standards can be implemented in advance
CIRS: a certain period often exists between the issuing date and implementation date of GB standards. There was no agreement on whether the GB standards can be implemented in advance or not. The Regulation solves the long-lasting doubts in the industry and provides a flexible operation time for relevant food enterprises.
2. Further clarify the scope of imported food without GB Standards
CIRS: In 2017, former NHFPC released a Notice on Regulating Imports of Food without GB Standards, which specifies the scope and review procedures of imported food without GB standards. In fact, foods that have been covered by the general standards of GB standards (e.g., GB 2761, GB 2762) but without specific product standards can be imported to China, and the import basis is the relevant provisions of the general standards.
3. Forbid any forms of false propaganda
CIRS: In recent years, the fraud and false advertising problems of food and health food have been increasingly prominent, which bring negative impacts on the consumer health, industry development and society stability. Since 2017, 9 departments including the Food Safety Office of the State Council carried out a fraud and false advertising corrective action on food and health food across China. In 2019, 13 departments carried out the “100-Day Action” to punish the illegal activities of making false propaganda of health food. Article 34 reflects that Chinese government will further crack down on illegal activities and to provide a healthy and rational food consumption environment for consumers.
4. Forbidden to mislead consumers with irregular inspection information
CIRS: In recent years, some unscientific evaluation reports issued by unauthorized institutions have caused troubles for consumers' awareness of food safety, and have harmed the interests of food enterprises with legal production and operation. This clause is of great significance for curbing such situation, is conducive to protecting the interests of legitimate enterprises, and creating a rational consumption environment for consumers.
5. Special food shall not be placed together with general food or medicine for sale.
6. Clarify the sales channels of FSMP
CIRS: The suitable crowds of specific nutritionally complete food are the population with specific diseases. This clause can effectively regulate the use of such products. For the moment, there is no relevant restriction on sales channels of other categories of FSMP products mentioned in relevant laws and regulations.
7. Specify the naming principle of infant formula