On April 23, GACC (General Administration of Customs, P.R.China) released the Notice on Matters of Import and Export Pre-packaged Food Label Inspection, Supervision and Management (Notice no. 70 of 2019, GACC).
(1) From October 1, 2019, filing requirement will be cancelled for labels of pre-packaged food imported for the first time. As one of the food inspection items, the label of imported pre-packaged food shall be inspected by the customs in accordance with the provisions of food safety regulations as well as import and export commodity related laws and regulations.
(2) The importer shall be responsible for examining whether the Chinese label of the imported pre-packaged food conform to relevant laws, administrative regulations and national food safety standards. Those that fail the examination and verification shall not be imported.
(3) When the imported pre-packaged food are selected for on-site inspection or laboratory inspection, the importer shall submit the corresponding certification materials of qualification including the original and translated labels of the imported pre-packaged food, Chinese label samples and other certification materials, to the customs.
(4) When the customs receives a notice from the relevant department or a consumer who reports any suspected violation of the relevant provisions on the label of imported pre-packaged food, it shall be verified in advance. Once being confirmed, the importer will be punished according to law.
(5) From October 1, 2019, the following notices will be repealed: the Notice on Adjustment of Import and Export Food, Cosmetics Label Inspection System (Notice no. 44 of 2006, former AQSIQ), the Notice on the Operation of the Label Management System for Imported Pre-packaged Food (Notice no. 59 of 2011, former AQSIQ), the Notice Related to Implementation of Provisions on Inspection, Supervision and Management of Import and Export Pre-packaged Food Labels (Notice no. 27 of 2012, former AQSIQ). Meanwhile, the previously filed label of imported pre-packaged food shall become invalid at the same time.
(1) After the entry and exit inspection and quarantine management duties and teams were transferred to the customs in 2018, label filing requirements for the first imported pre-packaged food have been cancelled in many places, such as Shanghai and Ningbo customs. The release of the official announcement indicates that the label filing will be officially cancelled nationwide.
(2) After cancelling the label filing, the importer shall be responsible for examining and verifying the labels of imported pre-packaged food. The "first import" will no longer be emphasized, which means that the customs will carry out sampling inspection on labels for every import. Under the new label supervision mode, the main responsibility of importers is further emphasized.
(3) The notice related to implementation of provisions on inspection, supervision and management of import and export pre-packaged food labels (Notice no. 27 of 2012, former AQSIQ) will be abolished from October 1st, 2019, and the new regulation will be issued before this day. CIRS will keep an eye on it.
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