Due to Chinas growing and aspiring pet food market, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) has exactly reported the registration and export process for pet food to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Most of the pet food imported to China origins the US. From January to November 2022, exports were worth more than $304 million as to China’s General Administration of Customs (GACC). These more than 44,000 tonnes of pet food constitutes 50% of all China’s imports in this period.
Currently, commercially processed finished products, like snacks, treats and chews, for pets can be exported to China.
First of all, as exporteur US processors have to own a FDA-registered manufacturing facility being yearly inspected and approved by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)’s Veterinary Services (VS) to receive the PRC number.
APHIS will issue facilities an approval number, which will then be shared with APHIS’s office in Beijing, which will then be sent on to the GACC. The GACC will then issue the US-based facility a PRC number. Through this number, the facility can be listed on GACC’s Animal and Plant Quarantine Department site.
As second step, the US exporteur need to receive obtain a product import registration license from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) which lasts for 5 years.
Finally, the facilities need to receive an export certificate endorsement containing all relevant information for each specific shipment from the APHIS VS.
All pet food products must be labeled in accordance to Chinese regulations before export. Furthermore, the food has to meet Chinese very strong ingredient restrictions. That is why, the FAS and its Chinese office advise US manufacturers to closely cooperate with importers in China in order to secure a successful import.