Recent Chinese news media reports reveal a broad restructuring of the State Council ministries in China. As part of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress on March 13, 2018, an institutional plan to make the government better-structured, more efficient, and service-oriented was submitted for deliberations and subsequently endorsed on March 17, 2018.
As part of the reorganization, a new body, the Market Supervision Administration (MSA), has been tasked to take over the functions of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). The primary areas of focus of the MSA are reported to be:
(i) anti-monopoly enforcement
(ii) supervising pricing
(iii) pharmaceutical regulation
(iv) food safety
(v) intellectual property rights
These duties were previously undertaken by AQSIQ, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Commerce, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC). Media reports indicate that the establishment of the MSA will see the abolishment of AQSIQ (as well as CFDA and the SAIC), with the inspection and quarantine management duties of AQSIQ transferred to the General Administration of Customs.
At this point in time, it appears that agencies currently under AQSIQ - e.g., the Standardization Administration of China (SAC), the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA), and the China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS) - will remain the same in name and responsibility and will report to the MSA.
It is still not clear if these changes will take effect immediately, or whether there is a timeline for when and how they will take place. News reports thus far have focused on China's objective to better coordinate regulation and enforcement of food safety, rather than the standardization, certification, and accreditation responsibilities of AQSIQ.
ANSI will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates when there are further developments.