Revised Regulations on Food Business Licensing and Record Management Announced by China’s State Administration for Market Regulation

The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) of China announced the newly revised “Regulations on Food Business Licensing and Record Management” (Order No. 78 of SAMR) on June 15. The revised regulations, containing 66 articles, are designed to adapt to the new circumstances and spirit of the reform of food business licensing, meeting the new needs of innovative, high-quality development in the food business industry and the requirements of local food businesses.

The revised regulations make modifications in three main areas:

  1. Implementation of the reform spirit of “delegating powers, improving regulation, and upgrading services” and optimization of the business environment:
    • Specifies the requirements for records of the sale of pre-packaged food.
    • Changes certain licensing items to report items.
    • Simplifies the process for food business licensing.
    • Reduces the time limit for handling food business licenses.
    • Advances the informatization construction of food business licensing and record management.
  2. Balancing development and safety, optimizing food business licensing items:
    • Supports the continuous healthy development of new forms, new models, and new technologies.
    • Focuses on the bottlenecks and difficulties reported by enterprises.
    • Adjusts and refines the categories and items of food business.
    • Adjusts the notation of food business entity format.
    • Adjusts the conditions for food business licensing.
  3. Improving and supplementing legal responsibilities:
    • Scientifically refines the legal responsibility for changes to the food business license.
    • Establishes the legal responsibility for illegal behaviors in the sale of only pre-packaged food.
    • Enhances the use of flexible law enforcement measures.

The newly revised “Regulations” will be implemented from December 1, 2023, and the “Regulations on Food Business Licensing Management” announced by the former National Food and Drug Administration on August 31, 2015, will be abolished simultaneously.

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