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Compliance Procedure of Imported Pet Food in China

Feed is a product made by industrialized process for animal consumption, including single feed, feed additive premix, concentrate feed, compound feed, and concentrate supplements. Pet food (Pet feed) is one kind of feed.

According to “Administrative Measures on Pet Food”, the Pet Food only refer to Dog Food and Cat Food. Pet food includes three categories “Pet compound feed”, “Pet feed additive premix”, and “Other Pet food”.

Pet food category

The definition of each category

Pet compound feed (usually refer to “complete pet food”)

Feed formulated by various feed raw materials and feed additives with an appropriate proportion;

Can meet pets’ overall nutritional needs when use alone.

Pet feed additive premix (usually refer to “food supplements”)

Meet the needs of pets for nutritional feed additives (e.g. amino acid, vitamin, mineral, enzyme preparation, etc.) ;

Feed formulated by nutritional feed additives and carrier/ thinner with an appropriate proportion

Other Pet food (usually refer to “pet snacks”)

To achieve the purpose of rewarding pets, interacting with pets, or stimulating pets to chew and bite;

Feed formulated by some feed raw materials and feed additives with an appropriate proportion;

To view the detailed Imported Pet Food Registration procedure, please click HERE .

To view the Food Regulation Compliance contents, please click HERE .

Compliance Procedure of Imported Pet Food


Labeling Requirements for Imported Pet Food

Imported pet food shall have a Chinese label sticking on the packaging or directly print the Chinese information on the packaging. As the China Customs will check the label when doing the on-site inspection, and if the label is incompliant and unable to revise, the pet food will be rejected or destroyed. Therefore, companies shall make sure the Chinese label/sticker is complying with “Provision on Pet Food Labeling”, in order to avoid any unnecessary loss.

It is not allowed to import pet food in bulk, and then repack it into small packages in China. So the Chinese label shall be on the final sales unit of the pet food packaging.

Hygiene Standard for Imported Pet Food

The hygiene indicators of imported pet food shall meet the requirements of “Provision on Hygiene of Pet Food”. China Customs may take some pet food as the sample to arrange the hygiene test (e.g. heavy metal, microorganism, etc.) in China laboratory. If the test result is not meeting the limit which means the product quality is unqualified, China Customs will reject or destroy the goods.

Therefore, if companies intend to export pet food to China, first of all, shall confirm the label is in compliance with the “Provision on Pet Food Labeling”, and the product quality meets the requirements of ““Provision on Hygiene of Pet Food”.

Country Access of Pet Food

China Customs carries out the risk assessment of the country or region which plan to export feed to China for the first time, and conduct retrospective review of the country or region which used to export feed to China or are exporting feed to China. China Customs focus on the assessment and review of feed safety system. According to the result, China Customs will adjust the list of countries and regions allowed to export feed and the permitted feed categories.

Until August 31, 2020, the latest list is “Countries and regions allowed to export feed and the permitted feed categories (not containing plant - derived feed materials) (20200518)”. According to this list, there are totally 18 countries/regions are allowed to export pet food to China, including Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Uzbekistan, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia. Taking Asian region as an example, pet food produced in Thailand is listed, but pet food produced in Japan is not in the list. In other word, Thailand is allowed to export pet food to China, but Japan is not allowed to export pet food to China.


Pet Food Oversea Manufacturer Registration

Beside the List of countries and regions allowed to export feed and the permitted feed categories, there is another list of oversea pet food registered manufacturer. China Customs only approves the pet food produced by the registered manufacturer to import.

Therefore, after confirming country access, companies should also confirm if the pet food manufacturer is listed in the “Oversea pet food registered manufacturer” or not. Take the latest “Canadian oversea pet food manufacturer (20200317)” as an example, until August 31, 2020, there are totally nine Canadian pet food manufacturers successfully registered. Meanwhile, the permitted pet food categories are also listed in the manufacturer. Some manufacturers can only export dry pet food to China, but some can only export pet snacks.


Obtain a License for Entry Animal and Plant Quarantine

Pet food, in particular, Pet compound feed animal - derived feed needs “license for entry animal and plant quarantine” before entering Chinese market. However, according toGACC Notice No. 51, 2018 (Notice on Cancellation of Approval of Entry Animal and Plant Quarantine for Certain Products), canned dog food and canned cat food do not need obtain a license for entry animal and plant quarantine any more.

Therefore, before importing, companies should confirm the pet food category and HS code. If it is necessary to apply for approval of entry animal and plant quarantine, importer shall obtain the license for entry animal and plant quarantine.


Registered License of Pet Food

For Pet compound feed and Pet feed additive premix, oversea manufacturer shall entrust its Chinese company/office or entrust a Chinese agent like CIRS to register with MARA (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the P.R.C.). After obtaining the registered license, the pet food can be imported to China. For more information about pet food registration procedure, documents, timeline and etc., please click on “Imported Pet Food Registration Service” to find more.

CIRS Services

Compliance Procedure and Service of Imported Pet Food

  • Confirm the pet food category

  • Review if the fee raw material and feed additive used are allowed to use or not, meanwhile, review the use level

  • If anything incorrect, provide the revision suggestions

Label Review Service of Pet Food in China

  • Confirm the pet food category

  • Review the original label and Chinese label, and provide revision suggestions

  • Design Chinese standard label

MARA Imported Pet Food Registration Service

  • As the agent register pet food with MARA

  • Arrange sample clearance and sample test

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