Inside China Food Law and Regulation

Legal news and insights from Covington's China food regulatory experts.

Contributors for the China Food Law and Regulation blog:

John BalzanoJulia PostMuyun Hu, Annie Wang, and Audrey Zhi

The State Administration for Market Regulation recently issued the Guideline on Law Enforcement for Using Absolute Terms in Advertisements (the “Guideline”), which provides guidance to regulators and companies on one of the most common issues of enforcement under the Advertisement Law. The Advertisement Law prohibits use of absolute terms like “highest level,” “best,” “first,” and

China has increasingly enacted laws and regulations that hold individual company employees accountable for serious food, drug, medical device, and cosmetic regulatory violations, such as those related to safety.  Consistent with this trend, on September 26, 2022, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) issued the Provisions on the Supervision and Administration of Implementation of

On September 2, 2022, China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed the newly revised Agricultural Products Quality and Safety Law (the “Revised APQSL”).  The Revised APQSL went into effect on January 1, 2023.

The Revised APQSL regulates primary agricultural products derived from crops, forestry, livestock, and fisheries, including plants, animals, microorganisms and their products obtained

China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) recently issued Administrative Measures for the Supervision and Inspection of Food Production and Distribution (the “Measures”), which took effect on March 15, 2022.[1]  The Measures implement manufacturing and distribution requirements in China’s Food Safety Law and build upon the 2016 version of the measures on routine inspections

On November 16, 2021, SAMR released for comment draft regulations entitled “General Rules for Food Manufacturing License Review (2021)” (the “2021 Draft” or the “Draft”). The 2021 Draft sets forth the license review scheme for food varieties that are difficult to classify, such as new food raw materials or foods in new forms that emerge

China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) recently issued Measures for the Administration of Lists of Serious Illegal and Dishonest Acts (the “Measures”). These Measures, which took effect on September 1, 2021,[1] were promulgated to standardize the management of lists maintained by market regulation authorities of parties that have committed serious violations of law

China’s General Administration of Customs recently promulgated new Measures on the Administration of Import and Export Food Safety (the “Measures”), which will take effect on January 1, 2022.[1]  The Measures integrate five individual inspection and quarantine regulations (to be abolished when the Measures take effect) for import and export of special categories of foods,

On April 12, 2021, China’s General Administration of Customs issued Administrative Measures for the Registration of Foreign Manufacturers of Imported Food, which will take effect on January 1, 2022.[1]  These new Measures provide more detailed guidance and more stringent requirements on the registration of foreign food manufacturers.

The new Measures provide that all foreign

In July 2020, China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate (i.e. China’s highest prosecutorial office) began a three-year campaign to strengthen public interest litigation in China, including by focusing on lawsuits involving violations of food safety regulations.[1]

China’s Civil Procedure Law in 2012 authorizes the government to initiate a civil action against individuals and non-governmental entities engaged

Food safety standards and food labeling and testing regulations are core parts of China’s food law and regulation. A lookback at drafts in 2020 illustrates that many important rules and standards on labeling, packaging, and testing are under revision, and while timelines are difficult to predict, there could be notable changes to such regulations and