Overview of the different labeling and marking requirements, including any restrictive advertising or labeling practices and where to get more information.
Chinese import inspection authorities point to labeling as one of the major reasons for noncompliance reports. Labeling and marking requirements are mostly made by different industry authorities. All products sold in China must be marked in the Chinese language.
Chinese regulators require imported and exported (but not domestic) food items such as candy, wine, nuts, canned food, and cheese to have labels verified and products tested for quality before a good can be imported or exported.
Many products imported to China must receive a China Compulsory Certification (CCC) marking before sale. Products requiring the CCC mark, in addition to undergoing an application and testing process, must have the mark physically applied on products before entering or being sold in China. Many electronic products require the CCC mark.
For more information on the CCC mark, please see the below “Standards for Trade” section.
According to the Food Labeling Standards of China (GB7718-2011), imported foods shall have clear markings that indicate the country of origin, in addition to the name and address of the general distributor registered in the country. Please note that labeling standards are currently under review to reflect requirements under the 2015 Food Safety Law and are expected to be issued soon.
Pursuant to the 2015 Food Safety Law, pre-packaged food must be labeled and must include the following information:
- Name, specification, net content, and date of production
- Table of ingredients or formulation
- Producer name, address and contact information
- Shelf life
- Code of product standard(s)
- Storage requirements
- Generic name of the food additives as used in the national standard
- Production License Number
Other information that must be indicated in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and food safety standards.
The labels of staple and supplementary foods for infant consumption and other specific populations must also list main nutritional ingredients and their contents. A series of national food safety standards were developed to provide specific guidance in product labelling:
|Date of issuance||Effective Date||Standard Number||Standard-in Chinese||Standard-in English|
|4/20/2011||4/20/2012||GB7718-2011||预包装食品标签通则||Standa for the Labeling of Prepackaged Foods|
|10/12/2011||1/1/2013||GB28050-2011||预包装食品营养标签通则||Standard for Nutrition Labeling of Prepackaged Foods|
|11/29/2013||6/1/2015||GB29924-2013||食品添加剂标识通则||General Standard for the Labeling of Food Additives|
|12/26/2013||5/1/2015||GB13432-2013||预包装特殊膳食用食品标签||The Labeling of Pre-packaged Foods for Special Dietary Uses|
In addition, in December 2016, the China Food and Drug Administration began requiring infant formula powder producers to review their infant formula labels and ensure that labels are in compliance with the relevant laws, regulations, rules, and standards. More specific information is provided in the Infant Formula section of the FAS FAIRS Country Report.
Labeling of agriculture biotech products is governed by the Administrative Measures for Agricultural GMO, which is discussed Section VII of FAS FAIRS Country Report.