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Top 10 Food Regulatory Updates in China in 2020 PartⅢ丨FOOD2CHINA
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Top 10 Food Regulatory Updates in China in 2020 PartⅢ丨FOOD2CHINA
Post Time:2021-01-25Author:FOOD2CHINA-CARMEN

To review food regulatory updates that happened in 2020, we picked out the top 10 most important updates and listed them below. Besides the regular regulatory updates, the influence of Covid-19 pandemic is an influential factor we have to reckon with this year, for it has influenced the importation and supervision measures of imported food and has also affected subsequent economic policies. 

According to ChemLinked the Top 7-10 updates in 2020 are:

7. Dairy product regulatory updates

As revealed by two official notices released this year, China released seven GB (mandatory national standard) consultation drafts for dairy products. They are GB 19644 Milk Powder, GB 13102 Concentrated Milk, GB 25192 Processed Cheese and Cheese Products, GB 25191 Modified Milk, GB 19302 Fermented Milk, GB 11674 Whey Powder and Whey Protein Powder, GB XXXX Determination of Choline in Infant Formula Food and Dairy Products.

8. Promotion Action Plan of Dairy Quality and Safety

China SAMR released a “Promotion Action Plan of Dairy Quality and Safety” on Dec 30, 2020. As a supplement document to “Opinions on Promoting the Revitalization of the Dairy Industry to Guarantee the Quality and Safety of Dairy Products (raised by the State Council in 2018)”, this action plan gave specific instructions for goals, tasks, measures, etc. that needed to be accomplished in the following three years. Key goals by 2023 are:

  • To optimize the legal system

  • To improve the supervision capability

  • To further develop the quality and safety management system of dairy manufacturers and to enhance the proportion of self-established or self-controlled milk source

  • To strengthen the development and research ability, better the product structure and advance the production technique

  • To foster consumers’ confidence

9. FCM regulatory updates

In 2020, China published two FCM GB standards. The first one is GB 38995 for infant feeding bottles and teats. It is the first mandatory standard in China specifying the technical requirements, corresponding testing methods and labeling items of infant feeding bottles and teats. It will be implemented in Nov. 2021. The other one is GB 4544-2020 for beer bottles, which will be implemented in Aug 2021. 

Besides the published standards, China released many consultation drafts of GB standards in 2020, including the standards related to metal materials and articles, paper and paper boards, composite materials and articles, printing ink for food contact materials and articles, and bamboo and wood materials and articles.

10. Supervision measures over imported food

After the outbreak of Covid-2019, China strengthened the supervision of food safety, including conducting the virus testing on overseas frozen food, suspending the imports from some overseas factories, demanding traceability code, releasing disinfection guidelines, etc. Major events and timeline are listed below:


  • Imported salmon being investigated as fomite in Beijing Covid cluster 

  • China GAC implements mandatory coronavirus testing on imported fresh food 

  • China raised new supervision measures for imported food. Both fresh food importers in China and exporters in foreign countries shall sign a food safety commitment prior to all trade activities and food enterprises shall also comply with the guideline released by the WHO. It was also said that GAC would suspend the importation accreditation of overseas fresh food enterprises when COVID-19 clusters occur. 

  • Clusters of covid-19 outbreaks in overseas food processing plants have prompted China's customs and quarantine bureau (GAC) to issue temporary bans on importing food from these facilities and associated brands. 


  • Import qualifications of three Ecuadorian aquatic-product manufacturers were suspended due to COVID-19 virus tested positive on the outside package of frozen shrimps. GAC will take more stringent measures, including long-distance video inspection, to regulate the sources of imported frozen food.


  • China GAC will suspend import declaration of overseas manufacturers for a period of time if the imported frozen foods or their packages are found to be Covid-19 positive. 


  • China NHC released 2 technical guides. They are “Technical Guide for COVID-19 Prevention and Control for Cold Chain Food Production and Operation” and “Disinfection Technical Guide for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in the Production and Operation of Cold Chain Food”. 


  • Beijing demands mandatory traceability data of imported frozen meat and aquatic products. 


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