All eyes are now on Australia health products.

Investment banks and trade officials have long tipped Australian healthcare as the next big source of Chinese investment. There is an ever-growing demand for Australian health technology and for products like vitamins that can be exported to China readily. The huge rise in the amount of the Chinese population obtaining middle-class status, has driven billions of dollars of Chinese investment in Australian healthcare to meet the growing needs for quality healthcare of the domestic populace.

China has one of the world’s most rapidly ageing populations with the population expected to reach about 1.4 billion by 2020. China’s first long-term national health strategy identified population ageing, spiralling chronic disease, environmental contamination and food safety as significant challenges. China has also stepped up efforts to boost the nation’s birth rate in recent years. Despite scrapping the notorious one-child policy (which was replaced by a two-child policy in 2016), only 17 million babies were born in 2017, 3.5% fewer than in 2016.

Chinese inbound investment has been dominated by health supplements such as vitamins, but there is growing interest in Australian pharmaceutical, biotechnology and aged care companies.  The focus is now more on harnessing the technology and learning the tricks of the trade.

The demand is generated from Chinese parents wanting milk formula products for babies and infants. This, in combination with a growing demand amongst adolescents consumers for vitamins and nutrient supplements has led to a surplus in demand for foreign healthcare products. For the elderly is has even reached the point where they are willing to travel all the way to Australia for healthcare. Having said this, Australia does face stiff competition from the United States, Israel and Singapore which are also attractive markets for Chinese consumers.

Getting started on exporting: Meeting product and safety standards

It’s a good idea to get professional help as Chinese safety standards sometimes overlap or contradict each another. Also tracking down official English versions can be quite challenging if you do not know where to look. To navigate the confusing rules and regulations, a few tips should be considered when exporting products to China:

  • The Tariff Schedule in China is different from that of Europe and the United States.
  • Every importer in China must have a Customs Registration Code.
  • All products exported to China must come with specific set of documents.
  • China has strict rules on food labelling.

You’ll need to navigate China’s customs and border regulations along with meeting product safety standards.

– When it comes to customs in most cases, your Chinese importer or distributor will help you to pull together the documents you need for customs clearance and provide them to Chinese Customs.

– Consult your importer or distributor well in advance of shipment to make sure you know what’s required.

For further help you can get in touch with Ausmate, where one of our friendly staff members can answer any questions you may have.