The PRC Food Safety Law is undergoing a revision that should result in an amendment by next year.

On October 29, 2013, State Council Legislative Affairs Office published a draft Food Safety Law Revision 2013, which is now pending for public comments.

According to the current draft, the main revisions appear to be:

Unification of operation licenses.

Food Distribution License (currently issued by TSB), Food production license (issued by AIC), and Catering Service License (issued by FDA) may be unified under the “Food production & marketing license”. The competence shall be to the CFDA.

Stricter regulation of Infants and Children Food

Raw material, product formula, labels of food products intended for infants and children shall be recorded to the administration department. Outsourced production (OEM processing, repackaging) is forbidden for these kinds of food.

Liability of E-commerce operators

Online service providers for commerce food products (i.e. e-platform) will also need to obtain food production & marketing license. Moreover, they will have to enhance the level of control over the food operators, as the new draft provides for their joint liability in case of infringement of consumers’ rights.

Joint Liability for the false ads

Advertisement creators and producers shall bear joint liability with food operators in case of false/illegal advertisement.

Higher compensation

For violation of food safety standards, the consumers can claim higher punitive damages: up to either 10 times of the price of the food or 3 times of the loss. In any case the punitive damages cannot be lower than 1000RMB.

Health food

Draft Administrative Measures on the Health Food published on Sep 29, 2013 is also in the public-comment phase. Food in health-food formulations such as tablets, capsules, oral solutions, electuaries and pills will be regulated by health-food regulatory (not by the QS production license) if its intake is subject to fix or maximum quantities.