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New registration requirements for food, animal-based and plant-based exports to China (Decrees 248 and 249)

Effective January 1, 2022, exporters and processing establishments that export to China will need to comply with 2 new Chinese regulations for imported food and overseas food establishments.

Decree 248: Regulations on the Registration and Administration of Overseas Producers of Imported Food will require all overseas food manufacturers, processors and storage facilities to register with the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC).

Decree 249: Administrative Measures on Import and Export Food Safety covers a broad range of requirements on food exports to China, including overseas facilities registration, record filing by importers and exporters, quarantine and inspection and product labelling.

In advance of China's implementation of the decrees, Canadian food exporters should ensure their products are in compliance with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations as well as with China's import requirements.

Action for Canadian exporters

It is critical that companies exporting and involved in the export of certain food products to China register their business with GACC. These new registration processes are required in order to maintain continued access to the Chinese market for the specified food products.

* The following categories and commodities have been defined by GACC

High-risk commodities

For companies exporting and involved in the export of "high-risk" commodities that are already on a list with China, which includes fish and seafood, meat and dairy establishments, the lists remain valid and there is no immediate action required for these companies.

Furthermore, no action is required for those who export wheat, barley, canola and soybean to China, as those products are already included on China's eligibility lists for Decree 177.

Medium-risk commodities

Manufacturers, processors and cold and dry storage establishments of "medium-risk" commodities had to provide necessary contact information to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) by October 31, 2021 so the CFIA could compile a list that would be shared with GACC. Establishments that didn't provide their submission to CFIA and therefore were not included in the October submission will be required to follow a more rigorous process described in Decree 248, Article 8 to be added to China's list of registered food manufacturers. For more information please contact the Market Access Secretariat of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Low-risk commodities

All food and agri-food products for export to China, other than "high-risk" and/or "medium-risk" products, are considered "low-risk" products by China and must self-register directly with GACC's International Trade Single Window Service System portal.

For more information on the implementation process and what is required by Canadian businesses, please see the food export notices.

Food export notices

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