Entry-Exit Alerts for Chinese Food Market (Part 2) – Bird’s nests update

Today I publish the second part of the article published on 16th December 2015 (Entry-Exit Alerts for Chinese Market) by Quinn Hulk, Food and Drug Administration of Beijing – Food Law Advisor and our country contributor for China.

You can contact Quinn Hulk directly via e-mail at hulkquinn@163.com.

Without prejudice to Food Safety Law of People’s Republic of China, Law of the People’s Republic of China on Import and Export Commodity Inspection and its Enforcement Regulation, Provisions on the Registration and Administration of Foreign Manufacturing Enterprises Exporting Food to China, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as AQSIQ) has announced the latest catalogue of products needed to be registered for foreign food manufacturers (No. 138 Notification of AQSIQ, 2015).

Compared with the old version (No. 62 Notification of AQSIQ, 2013), the authority has put bird nest products in the catalogue. Nothing else has changed. The registration rules for foreign manufacturers of bird nest is entered into force on 1st January, 2016. Here is the newly added content in the latest version.

No. Name Definition Remarks
04 Bird nest products Edible bird nest and bird nest produce which are formed from salivary secretion of Aerodramus fuciphogus, Aerodramus maximus etc, with dirt and feathers removed. Edible bird nest Bird nest products such as whole nest, bar-shaped nest, cake-shaped nest and fragmentary nest after sorting, immersion in water, cleansing, removal of feathers, reshaping, drying processing, split packing etc. This excludes bird nest produce such as bird nest in crystal sugar.
Bird nest produce Such as canned bird nest in crystal sugar, bottled bird nest in crystal sugar etc.

Considering the fact that the majority of bird nest products come from Southeast Asia (mainly Indonesia and Malaysia), food manufacturers in these countries should get ready for the change. According to the article 3 of Provisions on the Registration and Administration of Foreign Manufacturing Enterprises Exporting Food to China, the competent authority for the registration of foreign manufacturing enterprises which export food to China is Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China.

Although the current bird nest market is a niche market, great opportunities could still be grasped to expand businesses in China with the government putting so much emphasis on the development of Internet and the country entering into an aging society. The people are also getting more and more food-conscious and are yearning for a prolonged life of high quality.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party has lifted the food safety concern of the nation to an unprecedented priority and a national strategy in the year of 2013. It’s foreseeable that a growing number of stricter regulations and rules will come into force, which might have a huge impact on the food importers and exporters both domestically and overseas. It also means the food market will become less crowded yet more competitive and be shared with those who are wise enough to see the changes and strong enough to embrace them.

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