China Combines Three Major Institutions into State Market Regulatory Administration (SMRA)10. April 2018
China’s government recently unveiled plans for a reform of numerous administrative bodies. In total seven new ministries will be created following the reform. Already at the end of March, the new State Market Regulatory Administration (SMRA) was set up as a direct subordinate agency under the State Council. The newly established institution consolidats the major authorities responsible for market oversight within one big administrative house. Hence, the following governmental bodies will be absorbed by the SMRA and no longer exist:
- State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC)
- General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ)
- China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA)
Head of the new institution is Zhang Mao, who previously led the SAIC. A wide range of areas will be covered by the SMRA, including amongst others, commercial registration, food and product safety and intellectual property rights.
For the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector, a new drug authority, the China Drug Administration (CDA), will be formed under the aegis of the SMRA after the abolition of the CFDA. At the local level, provincial branches shall be established all over the country in order to handle regulatory duties for medicines and medical devices.
All companies and organizations in the relevant industries should closely monitor future developments of the SMRA. Whether the new agency will continue to fully enforce existing regulations, e.g. CFDA registration of cosmetics and medical devices, issued by their predecessor institutions, is currently not clear yet. However, it is very likely that the new administrative structures will be used as a basis for further policy changes.
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