(Yicai Global) Oct. 29 -- Shanghai's market regulators yesterday issued 21 provisional licenses for infant formula milk powder that will go on display at the upcoming second China International Import Expo to CIIE participants such as Paris-based Danone, Hong Kong-listed Yashili International Holdings and New Zealand's Synlait Milk.
In a first ever, imported infant formula milk powder was granted six-day provisional licenses last year for physical exhibition at the first CIIE without the need to comply with formal rules. The State Administration for Market Regulation authorized its Shanghai branch to extend the license validity of these products for three months after the expo at special customs control areas or type-B bonded logistics centers, China News Service reported.
Classified as special food in China, imported infant formula milk powder is barred from exhibit or sale in the country without SAMR's systematic review and approval from SAMR staff deployed overseas to inspect candidate products.
China is especially sensitive to the issue of infant formula quality following the 2008 Sanlu Group scandal, in which domestic melamine-tainted milk powder claimed the lives of six babies and injured hundreds of thousands more, sweeping Chinese parents in droves into the arms of foreign brands, which they perceived as safe, but large quantities of imported milk powder later tested substandard, Yicai Global reported in December 2016.
These provisional licenses give these companies' products, which have not yet secured infant formula registration certificates in China, the green light to participate in the expo, executives from these firms said. Danone has enlarged its exhibition area and will bring more star products to the CIIE this year, said James Ng Chan Choy, the company's China vice president. Yashili International Holdings' display spread at the second expo will expand to 216 square meters, a company executive said, adding the firm will also put sheep's milk powder, organic milk powder and other products on show this time.
The CIIE, a voluntary initiative by China to open its market, debuted in November last year. The second CIIE, which will capitalize upon the success of the first, is set to run in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to Nov. 10.
Editor: Ben Armour