The change will only affect manufacturers in the categories listed below. For those that are not in these categories, the registration procedure as overseas manufacturers will stay the same but there are a number of documents that will be required listed further below.

The concerned categories include:

  • Meat and meat products;
  • Casing for sausages;
  • Aquatic products;
  • Dairy products;
  • Bird nest and bird nest products;
  • Bee and honey products;
  • Egg and egg products;
  • Edible oil and oil products;
  • Stuffed food made of flour;
  • Edible grains;
  • Grain-based products and cereals;
  • Fresh and dried vegetables and dried beans;
  • Seasonings;
  • Nuts and seeds;
  • Unroasted coffee beans and cocoa beans;
  • Special dietary foods;
  • Health foods.

For manufacturers in above categories, the applications for registration with GACC will need to be made centrally from the governing authorities from the overseas countries. In the case of the UK, DEFRA will be the relevant authority. DEFRA’s recommendation, together with the applications from the registrants, their business licenses, a letter that declares the companies meet the requirements from GACC, and DEFRA’s inspection report on the registrants, will be submitted to the GACC. Details of the timelines of the new procedure are not released yet, but the new procedures will inevitably make the entire process more time-consuming.

For manufacturers that are not in the concerned categories, the registration process will largely stay the same. However, the new regulation does mention documents including an application, business license, and a letter that declares the company meets the requirements from GACC, will also be required for future registrations starting from January 2022.

Another important change is that future registrations will be valid for only five years. Manufacturers will be notified of the validation periods of their registrations when they successfully register.

The change in the registration procedure for overseas food and drink manufacturers is one of the measures taken by the Chinese government to strengthen food safety of import food in China.