China tightens rules of imported baby formula

Updated: 2013-10-16 08:46

(China Daily)

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BEIJING - China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Tuesday told baby formula importers to be accurate when recording sales data and for there to be no monopoly in the industry, which has been plagued by quality and price-manipulation scandals.

The ministry vowed to provide more convenient approval procedures for qualified importers, but told them to set reasonable prices and eradicate price manipulation and other moves that amounted to unfair competition, according to a ministry statement.

In August, Chinese authorities fined six baby formula companies operating in the mainland, namely Biostime, Mead Johnson, Dumex, Abbott, Friesland and Fonterra, for a total of 670 million yuan ($108 million) following an anti-trust investigation.

The National Development and Reform Commission said formula producers set minimum resale prices for distributors and punished those who sold their products at lower prices by suspending supplies or ending contracts.

According to the MOC's statement, domestic distributors are also asked to obey industry standards and ensure product quality.