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Home > Knowledge Centre > Exporting Dairy Products to China

Exporting Dairy Products to China

By EU SME Centre | Guidelines      04.07.2016     Tags: Food & Beverages

With a 64% increase in total imports over the period 2011-2015, the dairy sector is one of the fastest growing and most promising markets in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) category in China for European exporters.

The diffusion of western habits among the increasingly health-aware members of the Chinese upper-middle class is driving up consumption in a country where domestic supply cannot keep up with growing demand.

EU companies in the dairy sector will find opportunities in the market by leveraging on the quality of their products against the domestic industry, whose reputation has not recovered yet from the scandals of the past few years. On the other side, however, market access is strictly regulated and companies will have to abide by complex standards if they want to enter local competition.  

A bilateral agreement and health certificate between China and the country of origin of the exporter has to be signed before it can start the procedure for registering as a dairy producer and foodstuff exporter with the relevant Chinese authorities.

In addition, customs procedures can also bring complex, excessive, and varying regulations, which makes implementation at times unclear for European exporters.

This 41-page publication is a step-by-step guide of all the stages a company has to go through when exporting dairy to China, including links to all the most relevant standards and regulations. The guide starts with an introduction to the dairy sector introducing the major driving forces in this market. It outlines the new regulatory environment after the approval of the new Food Safety Law in October 2015 and describes of a number of key challenges faced by European exporters when entering the China market. 

Find out who are the key players and institutions engaging in the dairy sector in China, as well as the main events related to the dairy products industry.

View the contents table and author bio below. For the full guide, click the cart and follow instructions for payment via PayPal, or credit card.

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Introduction and key market drivers
  • Definition of the market
  • Size of the market
Key Barriers
New Regulatory Environment: Amended New Food Safety Law (FSL)
  • China’s Food Safety Law
  • Draft of the Implementing Rules of the Food Safety Law
  • Draft of the Rules of Supervision and Administration on the Safety of the Foods Imported via Cross-Border E-commerce under the Bonded Internet Shopping Model
  • Administrative Measures for Supervision on Operation of Foods Sold Online
  • Administrative Measures for Registration of Infant Formula Formulations
  • Administrative Measures for the Review and Inspection of Overseas Companies by Food Product Importers
Step-By-Step Guide to the Import-Export Procedure
  • Step 1. Check if you can export to China from your country
  • Step 2. Register as a manufacturer and exporter with AQSIQ and CNCA
  • Step 3. Label your product following Chinese regulations
  • Step 4. Preparing documents necessary for the export-import process
  • Step 5. Chinese customs inspection
  • Step 6. Tariffs and taxes
  • Step 7. Distribution
  • Special Case: Ice Cream
Further Resources
  • China’s Standards
  • Main Events and Trade Fairs for Dairy Products
  • Sector Associations
  • Key Players in the Dairy Products Industry – Chinese Government Agencies and Bodies
  • Relevant EU Organisations
  • EU SME Centre’s Dairy-Related Publications

About the Authors

Pablo Recio Gracia, EU SME Centre Expert

Pablo has extensive experience in supporting European small businesses in the Chinese market, particularly in the food and drink sector.

He is a specialist in market access for food and beverages to China, and assists companies in setting up in China, finding business partners, understanding technical barriers, developing market entry strategies and positioning products in the market.

Pablo is Managing Director of Eibens and has been living in China since 2005. He previously worked for public agencies including ICEX (Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade) and Extenda (Trade Promotion Agency of Andalusia) as well as private companies.

Martina Gerst, Standard and Conformity Assessment Advisor, EU SME Centre

Martina has over 15 years professional industry and consulting experience in Europe and China across different industry sectors including automotive, mechanical engineering, ICT, chemical/pharmaceutical and electric/electronics. She has worked in different positions and projects for leading international companies and European SMEs focussing on Quality and Supply Chain Management, CCC conformity, homologation, and IPR protection.

Besides this, Martina has contributed to a number of EU-China cooperation projects with AQSIQ, CNCA, and various European organisations and governments on New Energy Vehicle Standards and Conformity, environmental standards, ICT, and trade secrecy related issues.

Martina holds a PhD and an LLM in Innovation, Technology, and Law from the University of Edinburgh. She has authored papers and reports on ICT standardisation, innovative technologies, conformity and IPR.

Currently heading up the standards and conformity assessment team in the EU SME Centre, Martina advises European SMEs on their market access to China.

This report was published during the EU SME Centre in China Phase II (2014-2020), which was funded by the European Union (ICI+/2014/346-276).

The report was drafted in collaboration with external creators, who worked under service agreements with the Consortium running the EU SME Centre Phase II. The copyrights and intellectual property of this publication belong to the Consortium partner China-Britain Business Council. The latter was authorised by and acted on behalf of the Consortium running EU SME Centre in China Phase II. The China-Britain Business Council, which is currently part of the Consortium running the EU SME Centre in China Phase III, has granted the rights of use of this report to the current Consortium. The report is therefore re-published and made available during the EU SME Centre Phase III.

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