Parents of nursing babies in China are not allowed to mail or ship infant formula from New Zealand as exports of dairy products is illegal without a proper license issued by that country, warned China's General Administration of Quality Supervision Tuesday.
The administration said it was informed by New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in September that it was cracking down on unlawful exports of infant formula to China.
The MPI said only individuals and corporations registered with the ministry are allowed to export dairy products including infant formula. It said people who break the law can be fined up to 300,000 NZ dollars ($41,015).
Even having a friend or relative mail the formula for a baby's personal use is considered illegal. Li Yuanping, an administration spokesperson, warned that individual consumers will not be entitled to a refund if their formula is confiscated by New Zealand customs.
Some online dealers in China worried their business would be impacted.
"Our supplier in New Zealand has a permit, but a lengthy inspection would complicate delivery and push up the price," a Taobao vendor who requested anonymity said, predicting that individuals who buy formula at supermarkets to send to China will be more directly affected.
Wu Yan was planning to ask her friend to mail powered formula from New Zealand for her 10-month-old daughter, but has now turned to an Australian supplier. "I prefer the made-in-New Zealand brand because the same product sold in China contains different ingredients."
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