General Standard for the Labeling of Food Additives

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Posted on: 12 Jan 2012

On November 17, 2011, the Ministry of Health notified to the WTO the General Standard for the Labeling of Food Additives (draft) as G/SPS/N/CHN/480.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 12/19/2011 GAIN Report Number: China - Peoples Republic of Post: Beijing General Standard for the Labeling of Food Additives (Draft) Report Categories: FAIRS Subject Report Approved By: Scott Sindelar Prepared By: Melinda Meador and Wu Bugang Report Highlights: On November 17, 2011, the Ministry of Health notified to the WTO the General Standard for the Labeling of Food Additives (draft) as G/SPS/N/CHN/480. This standard applies to the labeling of "food additives" sold by retail or by non- retail, including labels and instructions. It does not apply to flavoring substances. The comment period ends on January 12, 2012. The proposed date of entry into force of this standard is to be determined. This report contains an INFORMAL translation of the document. General Information: BEGIN TRANSLATION National Food Safety Standard General Standard for the Labeling of Food Additives (Draft for soliciting comments) Issued on: Implemented on: Issued by the Ministry of Health of China 1. Scope This standard applies to the labeling of the food additives sold as such whether by retail or other than by retail, including the labels and the instructions on keeping and use. This standard is not applied to the labeling of food flavoring essence. 2. Terms and definitions For the purpose of this standard, the following terms and definitions apply: 2.1 Label of Food Additives Label of food additives means any words, images, marks or other descriptive matter on the package or the container of food additives. 2.2 Instructions on Keeping and Use Instructions on keeping and use mean the descriptive matters that are offered when the food additives are sold other than by retail. 2.3 Sale by retail Sale by retail means any sale to a person or a catering business buying otherwise than for the purpose of resale but does not include a sale to the manufacturers of food or food additives for the purposes of their manufacturing business. 2.4 Date of Production (Date of Manufacture) Date of Production means the date on which the food additives become the final product, including the date of package or filling when food additives are packed or filled in package or a container for final sale as a single item. 2.5 Date of Minimum Durability Date of Minimum Durability means the date which signifies the end of the period under any stated storage conditions on the label of the food additives during which the quality of the product will be maintained. 2.6 Configuration Configuration means the descriptions of the relationship between total net content and the units when the same package contains more than one food additives. 3. Basic requirements on Food Additives 3.1 3.1The labeling of food additives shall be in accordance with the requirements of the state laws and regulations, and the related food safety standard. 3.2 3.2The labeling of food additives shall be clear, prominent, indelible and readily legible. 3.3 3.3The labeling of food additives shall be true and correct, and shall not be described or presented in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive; or is likely to create an erroneous impression by means of different word size or color contrast. 3.4 The labeling of food additives shall be described or presented by the languages or the words violating the principles for use of food additives as stipulated in Food Safety National Standards---Standards for Use of Food Additives (GB-2760); the labeling of food additives shall not be described or presented by words, pictorial or other devices which refer to or are suggestive either directly or indirectly, of any use of food additives by the consumers against the principles for use of food additives. 3.5 3.5 Food additives shall not be described or presented on any label or in any labeling by words, pictorial or other devices which refer to or are suggestive, either directly or indirectly, of any other product with which such food additives might be confused, or in such a manner as to lead the purchaser or consumer to suppose that the food additive is connected with or derived from such other product; and the labeling of food additives shall not have any content that denigrates other products (including other foods or food additives). 3.6 3.6 The labeling of food additives shall be indicated or implicated by any content that can prevent and cure diseases. 3.7 3.7 The form and size of the words used on the labeling of food additives shall be in line with the provisions in Article 3.8 to 3.9 of the General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Food (GB7718). 3.8 3.8 The identification form of the food additives in multi packages shall be in line with the provisions in Article 3.10 to 3.11 of the General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Food (GB7718). 3.9 3.9 If the contents of the labeling of food additives cover all the contents that shall be labeled as prescribed in this Standard, the Instructions on Keeping and Use may not be attached. 4. T 4 The Contents and Requirements on the Food Additives Sold by Retail 4.1 Name 4.1.14.1.1 The specific name of the “Food Additive” shall be clearly presented in the prominent place of the label, and shall clearly indicate “Sale by Retail”. 4.14.1.2 The name of a single item of food additive shall be presented according to GB2760, GB14880 and the Notice of the Ministry of Health, where a name or several names have been established in respect of a certain food additive under GB2760, GB14880 and the Notice of the Ministry of Health, one of these names or an equivalent name shall be selected for use. 4.14.1.3 The name of the compound food additives shall comply with the provisions in Article 3 in the National Food Safety Standard-- General Standard for the Labeling of Compound Food Additives (GB26687-2011). 4.14.1.4 In addition to the labeling of the abovementioned names, the “English or the English abbreviation of the true chemical names”, the “name in transliteration”, the “brand name”, the “trademark name”, the “INS number” or the “CNS number” may be used, provided it in the same display panel one of the names provided in Article 4.1.2 or 4.1.3, where the word size shall not be larger than the typeface of the names as stipulated in Article 4.1.2 or 4.1.3. 4.14.1.5 The generic expression “flavor” or “flavoring” shall be described or presented by the name as stipulated in GB2760 and the Notice of the Ministry of Health, together with a true indication of the nature of the flavor. The expression “flavor” or “flavoring” may be qualified by the words “natural” or “artificial”, or a combination of these words, as appropriate. 4.2 Compositions or List of Ingredients 4.24.2.1 The generic expression of the individual food additive as a single item shall be listed according to the names of the food additives as defined in GB2760, GB14880 and the Notice of the Ministry of Health. The list shall be in the order of the proportion by weight which each food additive bears to the total contents of the container, the food additive present in the greatest proportion by weight being listed first. 4.24.2.2 Where a single or a compound food additive contains the supplementary materials, the quantity or proportion of that supplementary material shall be declared in the list of ingredients in descending order of proportion. The supplementary material in a compound food additive shall be listed after the list of the individual food additive as a single item. 4.24.2.3 Where a compound food additive is itself the product of two or more food additives, such a compound food additive shall indicate the quantity or proportion of food additive as a single item in the list of ingredients 4.3 Scope of Use, Dosage and Application Method The scope of use and the dosage of a food additive as well as its application method shall be selected and declared within the scope as specified in GB2760, GB14880 and the Notice of the Ministry of Health. 4.4 Date Marking 4.44.4.1 The date of manufacture and the date of minimum durability shall be clearly declared. Where the date is indicated by making reference to a specific place of the package, this specific place of the package shall be indicated. There shall be no pasted-over, supplement, or amendment to the declared date. 4.44.4.2 For the same container containing more than one individual units of food additives which have been marked with the Date of Manufacture and the Date of Minimum Durability, the Date of Minimum Durability declared on the outer package shall be calculated in accordance with that of the individual unit of food additive at the earliest expiration. The Date of Manufacture declared on the outer package shall be that of the individual unit of food additive produced at the earliest time or the date on which the outer package of the food additives becomes the final product sold as individual units; or the Date of Manufacture and the Date of Minimum Durability of the food additives packed in individual container shall be declared respectively on the our package. 4.44.4.3 The date shall be declared in the order of year, month and day; otherwise, the marking order shall be indicated. 4.5 Number of Packages The number of packages of the food additives shall be declared. 4.6 Net Contents and Configuration 4.64.6.1 The net contents declaration shall be expressed using net contents, numerals and the official unit of measurement. 4.64.6.2 The net contents and the configuration of the food additives in the packages (or containers) shall be declared in accordance with the official unit of measurement, in the following manner: a. for liquid food additives, by volume---– L(l) or mL(ml), g or kg; b. for solid food additives, other than those sold in tablet form, by weight---- g or kg; c. for semi-solid or viscous food additives, by weight; d. for food additives sold in tablet form, by weight together with the number of tablets in the package. 4.7 Name and Address of Manufacturer or Distributor 4.74.7.1 The name, address and contact information of the manufacturer shall be declared. The name and address of the manufacturer shall be legally registered and the manufacturer shall be capable of bearing the quality responsibility for the products. Whereas in the circumstances, the labeling shall be made according to the following requirement: 4.74.7.1.1 Any group company or its branch office (subsidiary) which by law bears independent statutory responsibilities shall have their respective name and address declared separately. 4.74.7.1.2 Any branch office (subsidiary) or production facility of a group company which by law does not bear independent statutory responsibilities shall have the names and addresses of the group company and its branch office (production facility) declared; or may only have the name and address of the group company as well as the place of origin declared. The place of origin shall be declared to the prefecture-level regions according to administrative zones. 4.74.7.1.3 In the case of contract packer authorized to produce the food additives, the names and addresses of the company that authorizes the contract packer and the company that receives the contract packer shall be declared; or may only have the name and address of the company that authorizes the contract packer as well as the place of origin declared. The place of origin shall be declared to the prefecture-level regions according to administrative zones. 4.74.7.2 The contact information of manufacturer or distributor which by law bears independent statutory responsibilities shall be declared including at least one item in the following: telephone number, fax number, contact information on web and so on, or post address declared accompanied with address. 4.74.7.3 For imported food additives, the country or region (Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan) of origin, and the name, address and contact information of the agent, importer or distributor registered in the People’s Republic of China, shall be declared. The declaration of name, address and contact information of the manufacturer shall be exempt. 4.8 Code of the Product Standard The code and the order number of the national standard, trade standard, local standard or registered enterprise standard of the food additive which is domestically produced and distributed (exclude imported food additives) shall be declared. 4.9 Production License Number The valid production license number of the food additive which need to claim the food production license number and is domestically produced and distributed (exclude imported food additives) shall be declared. 4.10 Alert Sign An alert sign shall be placed on the labeling of the food additives with special usage requirements or application restrictions. 4.11 Requirement on the Irradiated Food Additives 4.14.11.1 The label of a food additive which has been treated with ionizing radiation or ionization energy shall be marked “irradiated food additive” in close proximity to the name of the food additive. 4.14.11.2 Any ingredient which has been treated with ionizing radiation or ionization energy shall be declared in the table of ingredients. 5. 5 Contents and Requirements on the Labeling of Food Additives other than by Retail 5.5.1 The labels of all food additives sold other than by retail shall at least bear the expression of “Food Additives”, the name, specifications, net contents, date of manufacture, date of minimum durability and the conditions for storage of a food additive together with the expression “Non-Retail “ according to corresponding requirements under Article 4. 5.5.2 The generic name of each single food additive shall be listed in the ingredients table of the compound food additives in descending order of their weights added in the process of manufacture or preparation of the food additives; the content or proportion of each single food additive may not be listed. 5.5.3 Any other item which is not indicated on the label under Article 4 shall be declared in the Instructions on Keeping and Use or the Contract. 5.5.4 The Instructions on Keeping and Use shall be furnished at or before the delivery of the food additives. END TRANSLATION
Posted: 12 January 2012

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