China has imposed new registration requirements on food imports, the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Beijing said over the weekend.

“It is for compliance and traceability purposes that China is implementing these. [This is] also due to food safety issues and China's bid to become not only the largest net importer of food but exporter too. It is logical that they shape up their food industry,” said PTIC-Beijing commercial officer Christine dela Cruz.

China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) will implement two regulations on food imports in compliance with its Food Safety Law: Public Notice 55, which requires online registration of food importers, and Decree 145, which requires registration by accreditation.

Decree 145 also requires authorities in the exporting countries to provide specified certifications, such as those from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in the Philippines.

The decree currently covers only meat and seafood. Other product sectors to be covered will be announced later.

PN 55 covers food commodities such as meat and meat products, aquatic products, egg and egg products, dairy products, bee products, and other non-prescribed foods such as biscuits and beverages.

According to the PTIC, there are 160 Philippine firms on AQSIQ’s online registration as of March 8 compared to 841 from Malaysia, 778 from Thailand, 536 from Vietnam, 468 from Singapore and 400 from Indonesia. — BM, GMA News