Taiwanese firms exporting food products to China must register to renew their export permits before Friday next week, as Beijing is to impose new food import regulations next year, officials said yesterday.
The firms must register online with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so that the agency can prepare the letters of recommendation and certificates required under the new rules, officials from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Council of Agriculture (CAO) and Ministry of Economic Affairs told a news conference in Taipei.
On April 12, China promulgated amendments to its Provisions on the Administration of Registration of Foreign Enterprises Producing Imported Food.
Although this was six months ago, the Chinese authorities did not notify Taiwan of what the regulatory changes would entailed until Wednesday, FDA Director Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) said.
The regulations demand that importers of a vast range of food products must obtain letters of recommendation from food safety authorities in their nation or region of origin, she said.
The changes would apply to meat and seafood products, grains, vegetables, honey, eggs, oils, fats, nuts, vegetables, raw coffee beans, cocoa beans, edible health supplements and other products, she said.
The FDA must evaluate exporters and apply to China’s customs authority for import permits on behalf of each firm, she said.
Food exports to China totaled NT$32.1 billion (US$1.15 billion) last year, including NT$6.7 billion of meat and meat products, and NT$12.1 billion of pineapple cakes, other filled pastries and edible health supplements, she said.
More than 1,000 Taiwanese exporters of filled pastries and nutritional supplements would be the first to be affected by the new regulations, she said, urging them to register on the agency’s Web site.
Firms that do not file online registrations before the deadline might apply via regular channels later, but the process would be slower and more costly, CAO Department of International Affairs Director Lin Chia-jung (林家榮) said.
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