The China HACCP certificate is issued to Chinese organizations which have been certified to have effectively implemented recognized processes for hazard prevention.
An acronym for "Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point", HACCP is an approach commonly used in the food industry to ensure that the risks of biological, chemical and physical hazards are reduced.
Verifying that a Chinese food manufacturer possesses a valid China HACCP certificate provides a degree of reassurance that they have appropriate food safety procedures in place.
What is a China HACCP Certificate?
Although holding a China HACCP certificate is not required for food and related manufacturers under Chinese law, it is certainly encouraged. Companies should think very carefully before importing food-related products from a Chinese company without this fundamental standard in place.
The certificate itself is usually for certification of an organization to the 2003 revision of the standard CAC/RCP 1-1969 (Rev.4-2003) "Recommended International Code of Practice — General Principles of Food Hygiene; incorporates Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system and guidelines for its application".
There are other standards such as ISO 22000 and Safe Quality Food Institute’s SQF Code, which are based on the measures introduced in this standard, and which Chinese companies may also be certified to.
Here is an example of a China HACCP certificate issued by the certification body CQC:
What Information is Contained in a China HACCP Certificate?
Like other certificates, Chinese certification bodies usually provide companies with both English and Chinese language versions of their China HACCP certificate.
The appearance of the certificate will vary depending on who it was issued by, however the following details about the certified organization should be displayed:
- Company name
- Address of the certified premises
- Scope of certification (e.g. the production of canned fruit)
- The applicable standard (usually CAC/RCP1-1969 Rev.4)
- Certificate number
- The issue and expiry dates
The certificate should also provide some information about the certification body that issued it, including:
- Name and logo
- Name and signature of their representative
- Address and website
Who Issues a China HACCP Certificate?
The China HACCP certificate can officially only be issued by the certification bodies that are accredited by CNAS (China National Accreditation Service).
On CNAS's website a list of the currently accredited bodies can be found and at the time of writing this article there were 21 bodies approved for issuing HACCP certification, including the local offices of 5 overseas certification bodies.
Who Uses the China HACCP Certificate and Why?
In effect, HACCP is a standardized international methodology that helps manufacturers of food-related products to reduce food safety risks.
Whilst it is understandable that some small-scale local businesses may not possess the certificate, it is essential for any Chinese company that is serious about exporting their produce to have this or a related certificate in place. Doing so allows them to demonstrate to potential customers their commitment to producing safe food in accordance with a widely recognized standard.
For food importers it is important to gain a good understanding of your own countries requirements, which vary greatly between different regions. In many countries a China HACCP certificate may be used to demonstrate, or give assurance, that food has been produced in appropriate conditions.
How to Verify a China HACCP Certificate?
First of all, check the basics:
- is the company name and address correct?
- are the products they are selling covered in the scope?
- has the certificate expired?
Unfortunately, like many certificates in China, HACCP certificates can and are forged regularly, so it is important to check that the certificate you have been provided is genuine.
It is possible to verify a certificate using the CNCA certificate database but the English language version of their website can give erroneous results so it can be quite difficult.
A better approach is to utilize China Checkup’s team of experts. Save your precious time and let us conduct the verification for you.
The China HACCP certificate is one of the certificates covered by our Certificate Verification service.