China (Stage 2)
Background and FAEA Program: In recent years, the government of China has identified food safety as a priority area for policy and regulatory attention. Many difficulties and challenges exist, including microbial contamination, excessive pesticide and veterinary drug residues, the improper use of food additives, and the marketing of counterfeit products.
To address such food safety challenges and to finalize the implementation of the 2018 government restructuring, China has been actively developing food and agricultural policies, rules, and regulations. In 2019, China released the Implementing Regulations of the Food Safety Law after four years of development, and made progress towards the promulgation of the Law on Farm Product Quality and Safety (also known as the Law for Quality and Safety of Agriculture Products), the Law for Safeguarding Food Security, and the Regulation on the Administration of Grain Circulation. The State Administration for Market Regulations released draft Measures on Supervision and Management of Food Labeling for domestic comment, while the General Administration of Customs of China issued draft Administrative Measures for Registration of Overseas Manufacturers of Imported Foods, which was designed to replace AQSIQ Decree 145.
FAEA has worked in China since the Alliance was established in 2004. We will continue to engage with China to help develop a cooperative process focused on the primary agencies developing regulations under the Food Safety Law and with the new agencies which will be developing food, feed, and veterinary laws and regulations.
Results: In January 2018, FAEA joined with the U.S.-China Agriculture and Food Partnership (AFP) to sponsor a high-level Chinese FDA team to the U.S. for two weeks. Since March 2018, FAEA has been tracking the reform of Chinese state institutions, especially the formation and restructuring of the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), General Administration of Customs (GAC), and the National Health Commission (NHC). FAEA has been using the information to guide our ongoing engagement with the Chinese government.
There has been good progress in 2020 in resolving trade disputes. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on global trade, economic growth, and travel. Together, these developments delayed implementation of FAEA travel and preparing a detailed engagement plan for China by at least six months.
Next Steps: The Executive Director will travel to China to meet with FAS, key Chinese Government regulators and will identify potential consultants to provide monthly and alert reporting and intelligence on SPS and TBT issues during the remainder of 2020 and in 2021. FAEA will use this information to facilitate improvements in the regulatory environment in China by focusing on deeper engagement with various Chinese ministries and agencies. FAEA will also implement capacity building activities/interventions as needed.
 Source: Foreign Agricultural Service FAIRS GAIN Report, Beijing, China, 02-24-2020