China tightens dairy sector regulation

China tightens dairy sector regulation

Chinese regulators have published lists of the "first batch" of international manufacturers registered to import infant formula and other dairy products into the country.

The China Certification and Accreditation Administration (AQSIQ) said that the two lists had been compiled in response to the country's new food safety law, which was introduced last year and aims to tighten regulation of the dairy sector.

Around 50 international infant formula manufacturers are now permitted to bring products into China and companies are required to register each national subsidiary separately. The list includes: Heinz, Arla, Nestle, Abbott Nutrition, FrieslandCampina, Hero, Mead Johnson, Murray Goulburn, Danone's Nutricia and Lotte.

The register of companies approved to import other dairy products into China is more extensive, with around 1,370 producers included. Of these, 740 dairy manufacturers are registered in Europe and 226 are based in the US.

The AQSIQ said that the "registration work is still in progress" and the agency will "gradually supplement" the number of approved companies.

However, the regulator added: "From now on, non-registered offshore production of dairy food may not be imported."

Last week, China's State Food and Drug Administration revealed that 39% of the country's 133 infant formula makers failed to renew their production licenses. The Administration had been tasked with licensing domestic infant formula makers as lawmakers attempt to increase safety and quality standards in the category. 

Click here to view the full list of approved companies.