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What is the GACC/CIFER registration required for all food producers?

On 1 January 2022, the Administrative Provisions on Registration of Overseas Manufacturers of Imported Foods (commonly known as GACC Decree 248) came into force. All companies producing, processing or storing F&B products that are exported to China, have to register on a dedicated system and obtain a code: Failure to do so will result in products being blocked at the Chinese customs and either returned to the country of origin or destroyed.

GACC Order 248 distinguishes between two product categories, each with its own registration procedure:

  • So-called “high-risk categories”: 19 food categories: (i) meat and meat products; (ii) casings; (iii) seafood and aquatic products; (iv) dairy products; (v) edible bird’s nests; (vi) honey and bee products; (vii) eggs; (viii) edible fats and oils; (ix) stuffed pasta; (x) edible cereals; (xi) cereal powder and malt; (xii) fresh and dehydrated vegetables, dried beans; (xiii) seasonings; (xiv) nuts and seeds; (xv) dried fruits; (xvi) unroasted coffee beans and cocoa beans; (xvii) food for special dietary uses; (xviii) health food; and (xix) frozen fruits. Production establishments of this category cannot register individually – they must be officially recommended by their own country authorities to GACC, a process that might take several months.
  • So-called “low-risk categories”: all other food categories. Production establishments of this category can apply individually and directly to GACC, which usually only takes up to a few days

The EU SME Centre has received more than 300 enquiries from EU F&B producers and business organisations on different aspects and problems encountered during the registration process. We are ready to support you, please submit your question through our Ask-the-expert function.