Date: Oct 09, 2015
October 1st was an important day for any company in the food industry doing business in China.That is when the Food Safety Law (FSL) became effective.As you may recall, on April 24, 2015, in response to several high-profile food safety scandals and the need to harmonize with the global practice of food safety management, China passed sweeping amendments to its FSL. We reported on this in our “China Regulatory Matters!” alert, dated April 28, 2015. The effective date has now arrived and, therefore, it is important to be aware that a number of significant changes have been made to China’s food regulations and new mechanisms have been established to deepen the reforms.
As the fundamental law regulating food safety in China, the revised FSL builds up the basic legal framework for food safety supervision and management; however, like most framework documents, it is short on detail. To put some meat on its bones, in the past few months, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC); China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA); and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), along with other administrative agencies, published several important regulations and national food safety standards. The purpose of this article is to alert you to what has transpired since the FSL was passed, what we can expect to see in the future, and what the prospects are for several key food industries under China’s new food regulatory regime.
All Food Business
On July 28, 2015, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) promulgated three draft regulations on health foods for public comment:
a)Regulation on the Registration and Notification for Health Foods (Draft for comment) 
b)Regulation on Health Food Labeling (Draft for comment)
c)Regulation on Health Food Function Claim Catalog and Ingredient Catalog (Draft for comment)
This represents significant progress from the current registration-only system for health foods to a registration plus notification system, which helps to ease the regulatory burden on industry without compromising the quality and safety of health food products. Please see more details of these three draft regulations in our “China Regulatory Matters!” alert, dated September 21, 2015.
In addition to the above draft regulations, CFDA has published an Announcement on Further Standardization of Health Food Naming  to prohibit any health foods having any expressions of product function in the product name.For instance, terms such as “weight losing,” “beautifying,” and “lung moistening” are no longer permitted in the name section of health foods.Approved products that have such expression are subject to a mandatory name change by December 31, 2015.
While the above regulations have already entered the stage of comment solicitation, there still are a number of regulations and rules under review that will play an important role in shaping the health food industry.For example, Rules for the Application and Review of Health Food with New Function Claim,  Management Rules for Nutrient Supplements,and Documentation Requirements for Nutrient Supplements.
Formulated Foods for Special Medical Purposes
While the central government has published or is drafting regulations to enforce the FSL, local governments also are actively developing new implementing rules, which should be closely monitored by the industry.
For instance, Shanghai announced the Management Rules for Tracing the Food Safety Information of Shanghai (Rules), which, beginning October 1, 2015, require the industry to trace safety information related to food and edible agriculture products produced, distributed and served by restaurant service providers within the administrative region of Shanghai.Shanghai FDA also issued specific notice on September 24 to address the licensing requirements for food production in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
In Guangdong, the local government promulgated the Regulation of Guangdong Province on Food Safety  (Regulation) to detail local food safety management.In particular, for imported food, the operator must verify the product name and batch number against the record on the quarantine and inspection permit or sanitary certificate of the product. Further, FDA of Guangdong province released the Rewarding Measures for Reporting Serious Violations in Food and Drug Production and Trading (Provisional) in May 2015 to implement the whistle-blower rewarding mechanism established under the new FSL.
We will provide further updates as the regulations develop.Should you have any questions regarding the above, please feel free to contact us.