We all know as parents, that the safety and quality of milk powder has and always will be a top concern. Thankfully from January 1, 2018, a new policy on milk powder has come into effect, which will see to a more regulated market for infant formula in China.
Released in June 2016, the Regulation on the Registration of Infant Formula was implemented to overhaul the chaotic infant formula market and ensure the safety of milk powder products. According to the regulation, all milk powder brands, home or abroad, must register their products to the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) before entering the China market.
In order to grant the companies enough time to apply and register, the regulation set January 1, 2018 as the deadline for registration. In other words, since the new year, all unregistered brands and products are no longer allowed to be manufactured or sold in China.
“Before the regulation, there are in total 2,300 products from 106 enterprises on sale in China,” advises Ma Yangfu, deputy director of CFDA. “Up until December 27, we have approved the registration of 940 products from 128 enterprises, 737 of which are from domestic brands.”
When asked why the majority of the approved products are from our Chinese brands, Ma answers “Unlike domestic enterprises, a large number of foreign companies are not sensitive to the new policy.”
That being said, foreign brands sold through cross-border electronic commerce are temporarily spared from the new policy. In September 2017, the State Council decided to give these brands an extra year as the buffering period.
This may be explained by the fact that foreign brands are doing great in the market. Last year, the sale of foreign infant formula brands in China reached 450 thousand tons, accounting for nearly half of the total consumption.
The new regulation has triggered heated discussions on the Internet. Some netizens think that compared with the registration requirements, strengthening the supervision of products is much more pivotal.
“I think the government should shift their focus from registration to the routine tests.” -@evanyifan
“Till now, I still have trust issues with domestic brands after the 2008 scandal.” -@perfectsel
In addition, there are still people who believe the new regulation will do more harm than good.
“It is a great opportunity for domestic brands to win our consumers’ heart back.” -@zhudanpeng
Whether this new regulation can fundamentally change the market or not remains to be seen. At this point, at least we can all agree that the fake and unregistered products will be eliminated and the future of the infant formula market in China looks somewhat promising.