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  Italian dairy giant Parmalat has become the latest western company to fall foul of China’s food safety rules with regulators suspending the licence it needs to import fresh milk produced by its Australian subsidiary.


  It follows Beijing’s suspension last week of an import licence for an infant formula factory owned by Australian dairy company Bellamy’s — moves that experts say highlight a tougher regulatory environment for overseas companies that have cashed-in on Chinese fears about the quality of domestic milk for over a decade.


  Faced with a surge in imports following a scandal in which Chinese milk was deliberately adulterated with the coal-byproduct melamine, leaving 300,000 infants ill and six dead, Beijing has progressively tightened its food safety requirements.


  “In a way to boost the safety of infant formula products and rebuild consumer trust, the Chinese government has introduced these policies to raise the bar for regulatory compliance and market access,” said Chemlinked Food, a consultancy based in the city of Hangzhou. “Smaller brands are inevitably pushed out of the equation.”

  “为了提高婴幼儿配方产品的安全性并重新赢得消费者信任,中国政府出台了这些政策,抬高了监管合规和市场准入门槛,”位于杭州的咨询机构Chemlinked Food表示,“较小的品牌不可避免地会被排挤出局。”

  Angeline Achariya, chief executive of the Food Innovation Centre at Monash University, said: “The Chinese food safety regulatory environment is complex — rules can change rapidly and we have found different standards can sometimes apply depending on which port a company uses to import products.”

  莫纳什大学(Monash University)食品创新中心(Food Innovation Centre)首席执行官安杰琳?阿查里亚(Angeline Achariya)表示:“中国食品安全监管环境很复杂——规则飘忽不定,我们发现,监管部门有时会根据企业从哪个港口进口产品而采用不同的标准。”

  The Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA) — which supervises the importation of food products — ordered the suspension of Parmalat’s licence to export from its fresh milk factory in South Australia.


  Following an audit of the facility, regulators expressed concern about the high temperatures that Parmalat was exposing its milk to during a “heat treatment” process and questioned whether it could be labelled as “fresh milk” in China.


  Parmalat said it was confident it could meet the CNCA requirements and have its licence restored, reported The Australian, which broke the story.

  最初曝出该事件的《澳大利亚人报》(The Australian)报道称,帕玛拉特表示有信心满足中国认监委的要求并重新获得许可证。

  Australia has become an attractive location for food companies seeking to export products into China following Canberra’s inking of a free-trade deal with Beijing in 2015. This agreement is progressively cutting import tariffs on goods but it has not removed all of the regulatory hurdles that can make it difficult to do business with China.


  Bellamy’s is hopeful the CNCA will lift the suspension of the licence it needs to export formula from its Camperdown Powder facility. Australian trade officials have held talks with CNCA representatives, who have asked Bellamy’s to provide information about its operation by July 15.

  贝拉米希望中国认监委能够取消暂停其许可证的决定,为了从它的坎珀当奶粉(Camperdown Powder)工厂对华出口奶粉,它需要这个许可证。澳大利亚贸易官员已与中国认监委代表举行会谈,后者要求贝拉米在7月15日前提供其经营信息。




  Bellamy’s said the CNCA made its inquiries as a result of allegations received from a third-party complainant, as well as “previous quality issues” related to the Camperdown processing facility.


  International dairy producers are scrambling to meet an end-of-year deadline to register their products with the China Food and Drug Administration. Companies will only be allowed to register a maximum of three brands in China, to prevent a proliferation of foreign brands crowding out domestic ones weakened by the 2008 melamine scandal.


  “Global infant formula companies are racing to finalise their dossiers and submit to CFDA [China Food and Drug Administration] but face significant challenges to the stringent requirements,” Chemlinked added. “Clearly due diligence regarding China regulatory compliance should not be underestimated.”



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