China Updates Draft Rules for Online Food Trade

Posted By: Selerant RSA


On October 19, 2016, Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council P.R. China released “Implementing Rules for the Food Safety Law (revised draft version)” for public comments. This document regulates online food trade, and is aimed at preventing food safety incident coming from food sold online, directly or through trading platforms.

Highlights of the revised draft version rules

The Food Safety Law 2015 was released in April and came into effect in October 2015. The first draft of the “Implementing Rules for the Food Safety Law” was released by China Food and Drugs Administration (CFDA) in December 2015. Document published in October this year is a second (updated) draft version of these Rules, and it will be open to public comments until November 19 this year.

Comparing to the first draft, the most significant updates in the revised draft version are related to strengthening the supervision of online food trade.

According to the Rules, all third-party online platforms are required to stop providing online trade services to food producers or traders, in cases when food producers or traders are suspected of food safety illegal actions and are facing investigation or penalties by the authorities.

The investigations/penalties that lead to suspension from online platforms include:

  • Investigation, prosecutions, sentence or penalty published by the People’s Court
  • Detainment or other security measures enforced by Public security bureau
  • Revocation of license or obligation to stop the production or trade, enforced by the Food and Drug Administration.

How to submit comments for the draft

Interested parties could submit their comments via website, mail or email to Legislative Affairs office of the State Council P.R. China before November 19, 2016.  Once the legislation is approved by the State Council, the date of entry into force will be known.

Comments can be submitted by logging in to China government law website (, emailing to or by post to the following address - Mailbox 2067 Beijing (Post Code100035), by indicating “Comments on the Implementing Rules for the Food Safety Law” (食品安全法实施条例征求意见)” on the envelope

Additional information

The announcement (in Chinese) from Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council P.R. China can be found here.

Links to full text (in Chinese) of the “Implementing Rules for the Food Safety Law (revised draft version)” can be found here.