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SAMR released the draft version of “Food Labeling Supervision Administrative Measures” for public comments (to be submitted until December 20, 2019)


Dec 04, 2019

This regulation is to become the new cornerstone of Chinese food labeling, thus in theory replacing GB 7718. It has a broader scope than GB 7718, as it also includes provisions about non-pre packed foods, and health foods.

Main news appear to be:

•    Imported food shall have label in Chinese directly pasted, printed or marked on the smallest sales unit during production; Chinese label therefore cannot be added at any later stage. This is a very important change, as now Chinese stickers can be printed and stuck on food package at entry port in China.

•    New graphic and new labeling requirements for (i) prepackaged food products, (ii) small-package simplified labels, (iii) health-foods label; 

•    New provisions for naming of (i) foods that are the result of physically mixed of ingredients which are difficult to identify separately in the final product, (ii) some additives (sweeteners, preservatives, colorings, emulsifiers, thickeners). 

•    For foods with shelf life not longer than 72 hours, the production date shall indicate the hour (in a 24-h format) 
  The draft also has provisions applicable for naming of meat-substitute ingredients: in fact it is required that foods that use plants as raw materials to imitate the characteristics of organs and tissues of other organisms should be preceded by the words "imitation", "artificial" or "vegetable", and labeled with the true attributes of the food classification name.

For the first time (and differently from GB 7718, which only refers to pre-packaged food), labeling of bulk food as well as of made-and-sold-onsite food is also clearly specified (before, relevant provisions were scattered through various pieces of regulation).

Additives input into meals prepared by food-service providers shall be declared into the menu.

Interestingly, food manufacturers and operators are expressly encouraged to carry out clean label operation, using as little or no food additives as possible.


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