China is a complex market to understand especially when it comes to laws and regulations. The first hurdle for Western companies looking to sell in China is to pass the first product registration before exporting to China. For many Western traders, trying to understand the rules and application procedures is very confusing and often slows their entry into the Chinese importers market. Instead of explaining what a preliminary product registration needs, I will share the following tips to help Western companies overcome hurdles faster.
Why are import reports so confusing?
- The Chinese regulations are ambiguous and contradictory. For example, dietary supplements have different meanings in the United States that they do it in China. In the US, this usually refers only to vitamins or minerals, while in China it can be vitamins, herbs, amino acids or other specialized nutrients. In fact, there is no specific list of the classification of a substance – food, dietary supplement, TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) or medicine. Approvals were made on a case-by-case basis and depended heavily on the manner in which the registration documents were completed. 2. Rules and methods of deletion. Although many major authorities such as the State Food and Drug Administration and the Certification and Accreditation Administration have published a large amount of information online in English, the long process of application and loading of the required documents make a lot of Western business people. In addition, there is no quick way to estimate the costs associated with the application.
How do you manage preliminary registration and certification?
- Learn first if your product is controlled and which agency manages your product. There is a chance that your product will be controlled by the Chinese government. You want to know immediately if your product needs to have a record of imports and certifications. I learned about the key agencies that administer a wide variety of products and industries at the end of this article.
- Outsource to a specialist who can make your life easier. As I mentioned earlier, the rules and methods of importing China into your industry can be repressive and confusing. You might consider outsourcing a job with an expert who talks about these issues on a regular basis. There are two types of specialists who will help you; 1) import consulting requirements on unpaid consulting services, but government agencies and application documents, 2) specialized logistics companies such as import and export customs brokerage house which specializes in cleaning these types of goods and care throughout the process for you.
- Your distributor/ Chinese importer should be able to help you with the regulatory requirements. For example, say that you are a premium packaged food manufacturer in the United States; it is likely that the distributor you are looking for in China has experience in representing foreign products in your category. They are likely to meet all kinds of regulatory import requirements in the past. With their support, you can find that the import dominant and the application of the certification can take place.