CFDA Issued the World's First Investigation Measures on Illegal Behavior of Online Food Safety

In recent years, online food trade becomes more and more popular in China. However, with the rapid development of online food trade, it came along with different kinds of Internet security regulatory issues, like the lack of supervision or even regulatory gaps. In order to investigate the illegal behaviors and strengthen the supervision and management of online food sales, CFDA issued the world’s first Investigation Measures on Illegal Behavior of Online Food Safetyon 14 July 2016, which will come into force on 1 October 2016.

1. The application scope of this Measure

This Measure is applicable to the investigation on the illegal behaviors of online food manufacturers and operators and third-party platform within the territory of China.

2. Obligations of online food trading platform provider

The online food trading platform provider includes third-party platform provider and food manufacturers and operators who trade through self-built website (hereinafter referred to as “platform”)

S.N.

Obligations of platform

1

Apply for filing under local FDA within 30 workdays after the approval of the communications authority.

2

Have the technical conditions of data backup, fault recovery and others.

3

The third-party platform shall establish regulations including online food manufacturer and operators review and registration, food safety self-inspection, etc., and exposure to public on the platform.

4

Food transaction information should be recorded and stored, the save time shall be more than 6 months of the expiry date. If there is no clear expiry date, the save time shall be no less than 2 years.

5

Qualification materials of the food manufacturers and operators should be reviewed, recorded and updated by the third-party platform in a timely manner.

6

The third-party platform should set up a special online food safety agency or designate a full-time food safety worker, to check food business behavior and information on the platform.

3. Obligations of online food manufacturers and operators

S.N.

Obligations of online food manufacturers and operators

1

Get the approved license, and sell food in accordance with the approved scopes in the license.

2

I. The food production or operation license shall be publicized on the conspicuous position of the main website page for these trading through third-party platform.

II. The business license and food production or operation license shall be publicized on the conspicuous position of the home page for these trading through self-built website.

3

The registration certificate or filing of health food, food for special dietary use, infant formula milk powder shall be publicized.

4

The advertising review approval number shall be publicized as well if has, and it shall be linked to FDA relevant database.

5

The claim of "this product cannot replace drugs" shall be marked on health food.

6

Online trade of special full nutrition formula food is forbidden.

7

Take relevant measures to ensure food safety, or entrust other qualified enterprises to transport or store the food if there are special storage requirements for the food, such as fresh, cool, cold, etc.,

4. The supervision department of online food

I. CFDA is responsible for supervision and guidance of online food safety illegal behavior investigation.

II. Local FDAs above the county level are responsible for the investigation of online food illegal behavior within their respective administrative areas.

5. Online food sampling by FDA departments

I. FDA departments will implement the "mysterious buyer" system: local FDA departments will purchase samples as a customer through the Internet.

II. If the inspection results are unqualified, FDA departments will inform the online food manufacturers and operators, and the third-party platform of the inspection results. The online food manufacturers and operators shall take relevant measures to control the risk, such as stopping production, or sealing unqualified food.


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