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Shipping Dairy to China? Take Steps Now to Remain Eligible

Dec 05, 2018

Every two years, China requires American dairy exporters to obtain a third-party certification to verify compliance with Chinese laws and regulations and to update its information on the Food and Drug Administration’s list of eligible exporters to China. FDA is reminding dairy companies shipping products to China to take these steps by June 15, 2019, to remain eligible exporters. FDA also released updated guidance on these requirements last week that clarifies how to apply electronically and update list data. The guidance includes certification exemptions for some products.

The majority of dairy companies must successfully complete a verification audit from a third-party certifier before being eligible for FDA’s list. The Chinese government recognizes the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) as a third-party certifier eligible to conduct verification audits. Companies exporting only lactose, dairy-based food preparations or ice cream are not required to complete an audit.

In addition to providing information to FDA, dairy companies exporting fluid milks or infant formula must register directly with the Chinese Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA) here.

Dairy industry professionals must use existing login information or create a new account on FDA’s website to add or edit list information, as well as upload the completed third-party certification, through its Export Listing Module (ELM). Fluid milk or infant formula makers can also load the CNCA application into the ELM to help FDA more quickly process their requests to be listed as an eligible exporter.

Dairy companies that want to start shipping products to China have four opportunities a year to apply and be added to the list. FDA said it will provide Chinese authorities with updated lists of establishments and related products quarterly.

Read the guidance here.

For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA senior director of international affairs, at

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