On Sept. 22, 2014, the Ministry of Commerce (the MOC) and National Development and Reform Commission (the NDRC) jointly released the Measures for the Operation and Administration of the Catering Industry (for Trial Implementation) (the Measures), which took effect Nov. 1, 2014.
According to the Measures:
- catering operators are prohibited from setting the lowest consumption amount;
- catering operators are prohibited from selling any food that fails to meet the national compulsory standards for product quality and food safety;
- catering operators should price its food and services in accordance with relevant provisions of the pricing department under the State Council;
- when carrying out promotional activities, a catering operator needs to expressly show the consumers the content of its promotions, including reason for the promotion, method, rules, period, eligible products and limitations;
- catering operators should establish an emergency response mechanism. In case of an emergency, a catering operator should immediately launch its emergency response procedure and timely report the case and handling results to the relevant government department;
- if a catering operator violates the Measures, the commerce department may request the relevant competent monitoring departments (such as pricing department) to impose fines on such operator according to relevant laws, regulations or rules. In the absence of applicable provisions, the commerce department may order the operators to correct their misdoings within a prescribed time limit and, (a) if there are illegal gains, impose a fine of less than three times such illegal gains (in no event exceeding RMB 30,000); or (b) if there are no illegal gains, impose a fine of less than RMB 10,000.
The purpose of the Measures is to regulate the operation of catering services, guide the development of the catering industry, and protect rights of consumers and business operators.
- Measures for the Operation and Administration of the Catering Industry (for Trial Implementation)
- Issuing authority: Ministry of Commerce and National Development and Reform Commission
- Date of issuance: Sept. 22, 2014/Date of effective: Nov. 1, 2014