Newly revised regulations on the exclusive salt selling rights were published on Jan 4, according to a State Council decree signed by Premier Li Keqiang.
The regulations are meant to enhance administration on edible salt and also guarantee its quality and supply security to safeguard citizens’ health.
The salt monopoly administration belongs to the State, said the document. Edible salt refers to salt that can be eaten directly and used in food processing.
The regulations can be applied to any activity concerning the production, sales and reserves of edible salt in China’s territory, according to the decree.
The salt administrative department under the State Council is in charge of salt administration nationwide. Local governments above the county level can designate a department to undertake the work.
As China implements a system where only designated companies can produce or wholesale edible salt, other companies are forbidden to do so, noted the decree.
Provincial-level governments’ salt administration departments should designate production or wholesale companies according to a unified plan, issue certificates to these companies, publicly release the list of companies in a timely manner, and inform the State Council for filing purposes.
Both production and wholesale companies should establish a production, procurement or sales recording mechanism and reserve relative documents, which should be saved for at least two years.
In addition, the provincial-level governments should set up a sound reserving mechanism according to the region’s demand and supply. The reserve, undertaken by designated production companies and wholesale companies, should maintain a reasonable inventory.
The salt administration departments should take responsibility for supervision according to the laws.
The salt administration departments and supervising departments in charge of salt quality should make their contact details public for citizens reporting illegal behavior.
Non-designated companies taking up the production or wholesale of edible salt, and designated companies that have not preserved records according to the regulations, and any organization selling inedible salt as edible salt shall take legal liabilities and receive severe punishments, said the document.
Measures on salt for fishing and animal husbandry will be formulated together by the salt administration department and the agriculture administration department of the State Council.
In wake of the implementation of the new regulations starting from Jan 4, the old regulations on the salt industry released on March 2, 1990, are abolished, according to the decree.