Importing Pet Food from China into the US: Resources

A US manufacturer importing products from China generally is not responsible for compling with Chinese custom regulations. Primary responsibility for compliance with Chinese regulations falls on the Chinese exporter or the export. However a US manufacturer who imports products from China may want to insure that his Chinese partner meets the Chinese export requirements in order to make sure its imported products/container are not stopped or delayed upon arrival at the US port of entry. Please note, that with regard to pet food and treats you will be required to comply with FDA's Prior Notice requirements under the Bioterrorism Act and the FDA's Foreign Supplier Verification Program, ensuring that the product complies with the same standards and preventative safety controls as those in the US. Also note that APPA has a relationship with a customs broker that can assist you in exporting your products and will provide APPA members a free consultation to get you started 

The following page is not intended to tell you “how-to” import your product from China, but will provide links to various resources where you can learn more about Chinese custom requirements.

1.) Chinese Inspection and Quarantine Authorities
  • In China the AQSIQ (The State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China) is the administration in charge of the inspection and quarantine of commodities. See: (in Chinese).
  • Another quarantine office in China is called the CCIC (National Import & Export Commodities Inspection Corporation). See: (in English). Its activity is carried out under the direct supervision of the AQSIQ and focuses on import and export commodities inspection and certificate inspection.
2.) Chinese Main Exports Regulations

Pet products are still comparatively new in China and there are no specific laws or regulations dealing specifically with pet food, treats or other pet products.  The regulation relating to pet food importation is the China Plant and Animal Entry and Exit Quarantine Law adopted by People's Congress in 1991.

  • What products are covered by the regulation?
    This regulation covers the entry or exit of the following classes of products:
    • Animal products: including processed and non-processed items that might cause the spread of epidemic diseases (e.g. raw hides, hairs, meats, viscerae, fat and grease, aquatic animal products, dairy bones.)
    • Plant products: including - processed and non-processed items that might cause the spread of diseases, or contain insect pests or harmful organisms, and includes products such as grain, beans, cotton, oils, fibers, tobacco, kernel, dried fruits, fresh fruits, vegetables, raw medicinal herbs, logs and animal feeding stuffs.
    • Other products that are subject to inspection and quarantine include animal vaccine, blood serum, diagnostic reagent, wastes of both animal or plant origin as well as containers and packaging materials used for carrying animals and plants and their products.
  • Chinese custom inspection process:

Before export, the Chinese agent submits an application for quarantine inspection to the port animal and plant quarantine office. Chinese pet product exporters also have to follow US requirements on sanitation, safety, unapproved chemicals or animal drug residues in feed and pet food and proper manufacture processes for any products to be allowed to enter the US. You will find general information on Importing Pet Products into the U S on the APPA website at: Importing Pet Products into the US: Resources.

The products to be exported from China will be inspected by the port animal and plant quarantine office, and only those shipments that pass the quarantine inspection are allowed to leave the country. Shipments that initially fail an inspection due to contamination may be treated with a disinfectant and retested. Shipments that fail the quarantine inspection and are unable to be treated with any effective methods are not allowed to leave the Chinese port.

For details on quarantine inspection and sanitation please see the following links: Frontier Health and Quarantine Law of the People's Republic of China and Rules for the Implementation of Frontier Health and Quarantine Law of the People's Republic of China.