China’s abandonment of the one-child policy, combined with a rising middle class, have increased the demand for foreign, premium infant formula. Almost 800,000 metric tons of formula are sold in China every year – compared to 147,000 tons in the US and 68,000 tons in France. China accounts for 40 percent of the global retail market for infant formula.
Since 2016, infant formula milk powder sold in China is required to have CFDA registration. As most foreign infant formulas are sold on Cross-Border E-Commerce platforms and through daigou trade, these requirements did not have severe immediate impacts on the sales of foreign infant formula in China. Foreign infant formula sold on CBEC has been provided a grace period until 1. January 2018 to comply with the CFDA regulations. After this date, only infant formula with CFDA registration can be sold in and into China. The CFDA registration includes regulatory compliance for ingredients/formula, manufacturing requirements (CNCA certifications), labeling, and packaging of infant formula. In addition, CFDA have restricted the manufacturer’s amount of different brands to be marketed in China; every manufacturer is allowed to have maximum of 3 brands of formula covering 9 age groups at most.
Knudsen CRC provides assistance to foreign infant formula producers and brands wishing to obtain CFDA registration. As the registration process is complicated and challenging, we encourage to prepare the application process thoroughly and secure CNCA plant inspection/approval as a first step.