On December 30, 2020, the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) issued a three-year action plan for improving the quality and safety of dairy products in China (the “Plan”), reflecting China’s commitment to continue strengthening the regulatory and legal standards for dairy products, The Plan sets forth eight quantitative goals for the supervision of the quality and safety of dairy products, to be reached by 2023. A number of these goals are fairly general without further explanation in the Plan:
- The rectification rate of problems found during supervision and inspection will reach 100%;
- The implementation of hazard analysis and critical control point systems (HACCP) by dairy product manufacturers with an annual revenue greater than RMB 20 million (approx. USD 3.1 million) will reach 100%;
- The inspection and control rate of raw and adjuvant materials, key processes (e.g., production process, equipment, storage, and packaging), and products of dairy product manufacturers will reach 100%;
- The safety self-inspection rate will reach 100%;
- The rate of reporting risks discovered during inspections will reach 100%;
- The pass rate of the supervision and spot check assessment on food safety management personnel will reach 100%;
- The quality management system self-inspection and reporting rate of infant formula milk powder manufacturers will reach 100%; and
- The pass rate of dairy products supervision and sampling inspection will remain above 99%.
In addition to setting forth quantitative goals, the Plan proposes to amend the Regulation on Supervision and Administration of Dairy Quality and Safety (the “Regulation”), which sets forth a framework to ensure the quality and safety of dairy products. In doing so, SAMR will cooperate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the National Health Commission to revise relevant national standards for raw milk, sterilized milk, pasteurized milk, and infant formula, and it encourages industry associations to formulate group standards to improve dairy product quality and safety indicators.
The Plan directs lower level regulatory agencies to provide further implementation guidance, based on the development characteristics of the local dairy industry, see, e.g., the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Market Supervision notice released after the Plan.
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