• As background, China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) supervises and regulates the production of food-related products, such as food packaging materials, containers and food processing tools throughout China. AQSIQ also oversees the safety and quality of food imports and exports and collects and analyzes information on the safety of food imports and exports. In particular, with respect to exports destined for China, AQSIQ Decree 145 [2012] (“Administrative Measures for Registration of Overseas Manufacturers of Imported Food”) requires that the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA) obtain certification of compliance with the relevant standards, laws, and regulations of China for the following products: milk and milk products, seafood, infant formula, and/or formula for young children.
  • Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that FDA and CNCA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formally establishing a registration process for U.S. food manufacturers who export milk and milk products, seafood, infant formula, and/or formula for young children to China. In short, the MOU between the FDA and the Chinese government formalizes a registration procedure in which third-party certifiers, on behalf of FDA, will audit U.S. dairy facilities to assure they comply with Chinese food-safety requirements.
  • This agreement comes as welcome news to many U.S. exporters, particularly within the dairy industry. The U.S. Dairy Export Council reports that the MOU will increase access to China for more than 200 U.S. dairy exporters in the short-term and sets the stage for additional American companies to tap into the lucrative Chinese market going forward.