The makers of several food and beverage products are rushing to comply with new Chinese import regulations, with many worried that their goods will not be able to enter the Chinese market as a January 1 deadline closes in, reports Reuters. China’s customs authority published new food safety rules in April stipulating all food manufacturing, processing and storage facilities abroad need to be registered by year-end for their goods to access the Chinese market.
But detailed procedures explaining how to get the required registration codes were only issued in October, while a website for companies allowed to self-register went online last month. “We’re heading for major disruptions after January 1,” said a Beijing-based diplomat from a European country who is assisting food producers with the new measures.
China’s food imports have surged in recent years amid growing demand from a huge middle class. They were worth $89 billion in 2019, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture, making China the world’s sixth largest food importer.