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FDA China dairy export list 'won't disrupt trade': USDEC

By Mark Astley+

09-Jan-2014
Last updated on 09-Jan-2014 at 14:16 GMT2014-01-09T14:16:54Z

FDA China dairy export list 'won't disrupt trade': USDEC

A new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) procedure, which requires US dairy manufacturers to register their interest in exporting to China, will not be "burdensome or disrupt trade", the US Dairy Export Council (USDEC) has claimed.

The FDA announced yesterday that it is establishing a list of US dairy manufacturers interested in exporting their products to China to help processors comply with new Chinese government regulations.

The list was devised in response to the issuance of Decree 145, otherwise known as Administrative Measures for Registration of Overseas Manufacturers, by the State General Administration of the People’s Republic of China for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

Under the legislation, foreign authorities such as the FDA are required to provide the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA) with a list of accredited dairy manufacturers. Applying for inclusion on the list in voluntary, but products manufactured by firms not on the list could be prevented from entering commerce in China.

FDA list not “burdensome”

USDEC, which represents the global trade interests of US dairy stakeholders, told DairyReporter.com that it has been working with the US government since April 2012 “to create a suitable procedure to ensure continuous flow of trade.”

According to Alan Levitt, USDEC vice president of communications, the new FDA list shouldn’t have any impact on trade.

“We do not expect this to be burdensome or disrupt trade; the listing requirements are relatively simple, just some basic identifying information,” said Levitt.

To continue shipping to China, US dairies simply need to be on the list by 1 May 2014, said Levitt.

“…it doesn’t create any new opportunities or directly prevent anyone from expanding into China. It’s not a new standard. It’s just a new procedure. And once a company is on the list it doesn’t have to resubmit with every shipment. It’s a one-time thing,” he added.

China “huge market potential”

Meanwhile, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), which represents US dairy manufacturing and marketing stakeholders including Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Dean Foods, Kraft Foods, and Abbott Nutrition, has applauded the FDA for its “assistance.”

Speaking with DairyReporter.com, IDFA senior group vice president and counsel, Clay Hough, said that the new FDA list ensures access for its members to the Chinese market.

“We have received a number of inquiries from IDFA member companies who want to be included on the list of dairy companies exporting products to China,” said Hough.

“China has huge market potential for the US dairy industry. As such, we appreciate FDA’s assistance to help our companies with new requirements from the Chinese government for the importation of milk products into China.”

Shared with the CNCA

The FDA said that its list “will identify US firms that have expressed interest to FDA in exporting milk products to China, that are subject to FDA jurisdiction, that are not the subject of a pending judicial enforcement action or pending administrative action.”

The first posting of the list on the FDA website and notification to China is expected on or around 30 April 2014. The FDA intends to provide Chinese authorities with an updated list of firms four times per year.

Registration will be valid for four years, and an accredited company will only be removed from the list by the FDA if it becomes the subject of a pending judicial enforcement action or a pending warning letter.