General food refers to “standard and/or preserved food products that are suitable for human consumption, and do not fit into the other food categories, namely functional health food, nutritional supplements, drugs, and special dietary food”. It can include various sub-categories such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, vegetable oils, fruits and vegetables, breakfast cereal, coffee, meat, dairy products, spices, candies, biscuits, and much more…
Although Sports Nutrition technically falls under the category of “special dietary food” and is not included into Health Food, it can be imported directly as General Food as long as it complies with Chinese National Standards for Sports Nutrition.
All foreign products are required to adhere to Chinese National Standards (GB standards). The General Food category can have swift market entry, however it is restrictive in regard to functional claims and marketing of the products. Knudsen&CRC works closely with clients to provide comprehensive market research and business evaluation prior to entering the Chinese market to support success and ultimately minimize lengthy and expensive product registrations and certifications.
We Offer These Services for General Food
Preliminary Product Evaluation
When entering the market in China, it is the responsibility of the foreign company to know the authorizations and regulations. Before initiating importation, it is essential to ensure all product ingredients and content levels are approved in China. Knudsen&CRC can provide general guidelines on the process and timeline of BQS Filing, give a general overview on your product, and conduct product category evaluation to determine qualifications as a General Food.
GB Regulation Check
All foreign products of General Food into China are required to adhere to Chinese National Standards, otherwise referred to as GB Standards. Recent changes in Chinese Food Safety Laws impose more severe punitive measure (including criminal penalties) for non-compliance with food regulations. Knudsen&CRC can help with the regulatory compliance required to pass National Standard (GB) inspection for CIQ random checks, including translations and explanations. For instance, appearance testing, physiochemical testing, microbiological testing, toxicity testing, etc.
Foreign products must receive Chinese labelling approval through a BQS Report. The BQS Filing of labeling process includes: submission of original English to Chinese translation products and labels, obtaining and reviewing the consultation report by CCIC, submitting final Chinese packaging following revision, and obtaining labeling filing approval and the BQS report. Knudsen&CRC can assist to ensure the ease and efficiency of BQS Filing process for General Food. Services provided include general screening of ingredients, intake and content levels, advice on approved alternatives to substitute non-approved ingredients, advice on Chinese labeling including nutrient reference value (NRV), energy and nutrition claims, as well as customs random test preparation.
Application Dossier Preparation
Ingredient & Packaging Consulting
Frequently Asked Questions
General food refers to standard and/or preserved food products that are suitable for human consumption, and do not fit into the other food categories. This includes functional health food, nutritional supplements, drugs, and special dietary food. General Food has various sub-categories such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, vegetable oils, fruits and vegetables, breakfast cereal, coffee, meat, dairy products, spices, candy, biscuits, and much more.
Yes! Sports Nutrition technically falls under the category of “special dietary food” and is not included into Health Food. Sport Nutrition products can be imported directly as General Food, as long as it complies with National Standards for Sports Nutrition.
Yes! Certification is available for food categories such as: Crops (i.e., wheat, corn rice), Livestock and Poultry, Aquaculture, Wild Plants, Dairy Products, Processed Foods, Beverages, and much more.
The process of Preliminary Product Evaluation for General Food will differ between products. For example, the evaluation for baby food will be different to that of sports nutrition. Other processes of PPE include determining category of products (i.e., Health Food vs. General Food).
BQS is a filing procedure for product labels to facilitate and smooth the importation process. It is performed by CCIC and includes English packaging check, Chinese labeling approval and reporting. The BQS report is then submitted during the importation procedure through Shanghai harbors.
On April 24, 2015, the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress revised the 2009 Food Safety Law of the People’s Republic of China –which came into effect October 1, 2015. It is the strictest food safety law in the world with the objective of securing consumer safety.