Chinese language labels mandatory for export food items

Exporters of Nepali food items to China now arrange product labeling in the Chinese language, as their northern neighbor is making these new rules mandatory for all its food imports.

According to the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DoFTQC), the Chinese government has recently enacted a regulation that allows its traders to import only the packed foods that have product information in Chinese language.  “From now onward, exporters of Nepali packed foods will have to maintain the specification in Chinese language on top of the one written in English,” Mohan Krishna Maharjan, the spokesperson for DoFTQC, told Republica.

China so far had been allowing import of edibles based on the specification written in the English language.

Maharjan said that the northern neighbor, however, had not specified any additional standard for Nepali food items if they meet the sanitary and phytosanitary measures. “As of now, the Chinese side has acknowledged the lab certification produced by the department.”

According to the DoFTQC, food testing laboratory at the department is accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, India. In addition, the department's laboratory has been recognized with ISO 17000 quality certification.

Duty-free access of more than 8,000 Nepali goods
China has offered duty-free access to more than 8,000 Nepali goods. However, Nepal has failed to cash in on this opportunity due to low exportable commodity. Nepal has been basically exporting handicraft products including metal and woollen crafts, pashmina and silver jewelry, among others, to the northern neighbor.

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