SGS SA

11/15/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/14/2019 21:26

Amended Food Safety Law in China to effect from December 1, 2019

Regulation on the Implementation of the Food Safety Law of the People's Republic of China, Amendment edition effect from December 1, 2019

SAFEGUARDS | SustainabilityNO. 161/19

On Mar. 26, 2019, the Regulation on the Implementation of the Food Safety Law of the People's Republic of China (Draft) was approved in principle at the 42nd executive meeting of the State Council, and some provisions were improved by relevant departments according to the deliberation results of the executive meeting. On October 11, 2019, No. 721 order of the State Council issued the Regulation on the Implementation of the Food Safety Law of the People's Republic of China in full. The revised regulation has a total of 10 chapters and 86 articles, and effective from December 1, 2019.

The regulation is the further implementation and refinement of the Food Safety Law of the PRC (2018 amendment), which is conducive to solving the problems and difficulties in practice and provides clear requirements and basis for the production and operation of food enterprises.

The main contents of the revision are as follows:

1. Implement the most severe punishment and implement 'punishment to person'

The regulation clearly stipulates that 'punishment shall be given to people'. In addition to the punishment given to the unit in accordance with the provisions of the food safety law, the legal representative, the main person in charge, the directly responsible person in charge and other directly responsible persons of the unit shall be punished with above one time of the income obtained from the unit in the previous year for any food safety illegal act with one of the circumstances of intentional implementation of the illegal act, bad nature of the illegal act and serious consequences caused by the illegal act shall be fined up to 10 times. Among them, the person in charge who is directly responsible is the person in charge who plays the role of decision, approval, inspiration, connivance and command in the illegal act. Other persons who are directly responsible for the specific implementation of illegal acts and play a greater role can be either the production and operation management personnel of the unit or the employees of the unit.

2. Severely punish the illegal food safety behaviours with serious circumstances according to law

Food safety needs to be regulated in accordance with the law, and the chaos should be seriously controlled. According to the regulation, when a fine is imposed for a serious illegal act, it shall be stricter and heavier according to law. The first paragraph of Article 67 of the regulations lists five specific situations of 'serious circumstances', including: (1) the value of the products involved in the illegal act is more than 20000 yuan or the illegal act lasts for more than three months; (2) causing foodborne diseases and death cases, or causing more than 30 foodborne diseases but no death cases; (3) deliberately providing false information or concealing the truth; (4) Refuse or evade supervision and inspection; (5) carry out illegal food safety acts of the same nature within one year after receiving administrative punishment for violating food safety laws and regulations, or carry out illegal food safety acts after receiving criminal punishment for violating food safety laws and regulations. The above provisions are highly operable and conducive to standardized and unified law enforcement. Food safety supervision and administration departments at all levels shall strictly implement them.

3. Strengthen the main responsibility of the enterprise.

The regulation emphasizes that the main person in charge of the food production and operation enterprise shall be fully responsible for the food safety work of the enterprise, establish and implement the food safety responsibility system of the enterprise, strengthen the supplier management, incoming inspection and delivery inspection, production and operation process control, self-inspection of food safety, etc. At the same time, the regulations also clarify the obligations of food safety management personnel, requiring them to assist the main principals of the enterprise to do a good job in food safety management, master the relevant knowledge corresponding to their positions, and have the ability of food safety management.

4. Adhere to the people-centred principle and strengthen the supervision of special food.

The regulation makes it clear that food safety supervision and management departments should focus on the retroactive reflection and construction of infant formula and other foods for specific groups and other foods with high food safety risk or large sales volume. In order to ensure the food safety of specific population, the regulations stipulate that the manufacturers of formula food for special medical purposes shall carry out batch by batch inspection on the products leaving the factory according to the inspection items specified in the national food safety standards. Increase the obligation of factory inspection record of Centralized Disinfection service unit of catering utensils. The canteens of schools, kindergartens, elderly care institutions, construction sites and other centralized dining units shall implement the systems of raw material control, tableware and drinking utensils cleaning and disinfection, food sample retention, etc., and carry out regular food safety self-inspection of the canteens according to law. According to the regulations, special food shall not be mixed with ordinary food or medicine for sale; other food other than health food shall not be claimed to have health care function; the contents of the labels and instructions of special food shall be consistent with the registered or filed labels and instructions, otherwise they shall not be sold; special full nutrition formula in formula food for special medical purposes shall be sold through medical institutions Or drug retail enterprises sell to consumers; it is prohibited to use any means including meetings, lectures, health consultation to make false publicity of food. The advertising of special full nutrition formula food in special medical use formula food shall be managed in accordance with the advertising of prescription drugs, and the advertising of other types of special medical use formula food shall be managed in accordance with the advertising of non-prescription drugs. The infant formula food added with the selective substances specified in the national food safety standards shall not be named after the selective substances added.

The revision of the regulation improved the social co-governance of food safety:

  • Strengthen the quality education of food safety. The State shall incorporate food safety knowledge into national quality education, popularize scientific and legal knowledge of food safety, and improve the food safety awareness of the whole society.
  • Strengthen the exchange of food safety risks. The state establishes a food safety risk exchange system. The food regulatory department under the State Council shall, together with other relevant departments, establish a food safety risk exchange mechanism to clarify the contents, procedures and requirements of information exchange on food safety risks.
  • To clarify the reward system for reporting. The State implements a reward system for reporting violations of food safety laws, and gives rewards to whistle-blowers for the reports verified to be true.

To ensure food safety, the rule of law is fundamental. The promulgation of the regulation marks the basic formation of the food safety legal system with the newly revised food safety law as the core. These laws, regulations and rules are closely linked, which is conducive to creating a fair, legal and honest market environment, allowing all kinds of subjects to have laws and regulations to follow, and promoting the formation of enterprise responsibility, government supervision, industry self-discipline, departmental coordination and public participation, media supervision and legal guarantee.

For enquiries, please contact:

Olina Cai
Marketing ExecutiveTel: +86(0)755 2532 8137

Stay on top of regulatory changes within your industry: subscribe to SafeGuardS!

Read more articles for the Consumer Goods and Retail industry

© SGS Group Management SA - 2019 - All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties' contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided 'as is' and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS's prior written consent.