China grants six month transition period for new pet food labels

CHINA – The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) has issued an additional six months transition period for domestic and foreign pet food producers to transition to new labels as per the new regulations.

This follows the six regulatory document concerning pet foods, including the Administrative Measures for Pet Food and the Provisions for Labeling of Pet Food that the ministry announced in April 2018.

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As per the provisions for labelling of pet food, – indicated in the regulations- pet food producers were authorized to comply with the provisions from September 1, 2019.

However, the Ministry of Agriculture has noted that many pet food producers still have large inventory of the old labels and adopting the new labels before the set deadline would see the producer suffer huge economic losses.

After verifying the situation, MARA decided to make adjustments regarding relevant issues to “avoid resources waste and reduce industry’s burdens”

This saw the ministry grant an additional six months transition period for pet food labels.

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According to the ministry, domestically produced pet food products and imported pet food products after March 1, 2020 must use labels that comply with the “Provisions of Pet Food Labels”.

“Before March 1, 2020, if pet food producers continue using the old labels, they should stick or attach a supplementary label,” the ministry said.

MARA noted that supplementary label should mark the following content: common names of the product that comply with the “Provisions of Pet Food Labels” and the guaranteed values of product ingredient analyses that are not provided in the old labels

In addition, they should have the statement that “this product complies with provisions of pet food sanitary requirements.”

According to the ministry, the supplementary label should be stuck or placed at an obvious spot on the old label.

Fed producers are expected to fully comply to the “Provisions of Pet Food Labels” starting from March 1, 2020 in a bid to promote the healthy development of the industry.

Pet food labeling regulation

The Pet Feed Labeling Regulation lays down extensive requirements for pet feed labeling, including product names, ingredient declaration among others.

Notably, it contains detailed requirements for making permitted claims on the label, including component claims, functional claims, and characteristics claims.  Under the new regulations, description or promotion on the prevention or treatment of pet diseases is prohibited.

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