South Korea Food Regulation Recap Q2

Thanks to Lorraine Li at ChemLinked for these regular updates.

1. South Korea Revises Regulation on Voluntary Inspection of Livestock Products | Apr. 9

On April 9, 2021, MFDS released the latest version of Regulation on Voluntary Inspection of Livestock Products. The regulation newly specifies that meat-packing factories should inspect “Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli” of the packaged ground meat product at least once per month. The provisions about the “food for the elderly” are added to keep aligned with the amendments in Food Code. (Find More)

2. South Korea Consults on the Overseas Factory’s HACCP Accreditation Standard | Apr. 15

After replacing the registration of “Good Foreign Food Facility” with the “HACCP accreditation mechanism” last year, MFDS released the draft of HACCP Accreditation Standard on April 15, 2021, for public opinions. The draft specifies the scope of foreign food facilities subject to HACCP, the accreditation procedure, the inspection and evaluation requirements, etc. (Read More)

3. South Korean Food Policy 2021 | Apr. 16

The MFDS shared the food policy for 2021 with embassies on April 16, 2021. The competent authority mainly introduced the requirements on foreign food facility inspection, livestock product’s sanitary certificate, food purchased on cross-board e-commerce platforms, and other mutual arrangements, etc. (Find more details at ChemLinked News)

4. South Korea to Amend Health Functional Food Code | Apr. 20

On April 20, 2021, MFDS published two drafts (No. 2021-168 and No. 2021-169) of the Health Functional Food Code to solicit public opinions.

As the Dietary Reference Intakes for Korean was updated in 2020, the relevant standards in Health Functional Food Code, such as the recommended daily intakes, are proposed to be modified in draft No. 2021-168. The conversion factor of Vitamin A and some ambiguous phrases are to be changed as well.

Draft No. 2021-169 mainly changed some inconsistent expressions to keep in line with the terms in the superordinate laws. (Read More)

5. South Korea Consults on the Regulation on Inspection of Imported Food | May 10

On May 10, 2021, MFDS revealed the draft of Regulation on Inspection of Imported Food for public opinions. The authority mainly proposed to intensively inspect the products with historically high non-compliance frequency in pesticide residue. Additionally, the draft adds the new safe food products designated by MFDS and optimizes the pre-inspection requirements of agricultural products shipped by bulk carriers. (Read More)

6. South Korea Publishes the Guideline of Veterinary Drug Residue in Food | May 11

On May 11, 2021, MFDS disclosed the Guideline of Veterinary Drug Residue in Food. The guideline is to help the enterprises better understand the requirements of veterinary drug residues at home and abroad. It contains two parts:

Part 1. Maximum Residue Limits of Veterinary Drugs in South Korea

Part 2. International Maximum Residue Limits of Veterinary Drugs (Codex, US, Japan, Europe, etc. )

The veterinary drug list is written in both English and Korean. Find more details at ChemLinked News.

7. South Korea Consults on the Legislation of Imported Food Imported via Online Channels | May 12

South Korea hasn’t established any requirements related to imported goods purchased online. As more consumers prefer online shopping to buy overseas products, especially food products, some members of the legislative assembly regarded it necessary to roll out relevant provisions. On May 12, 2021, ten assemblymen proposed to add the requirement of unveiling the information of risk overseas food products on the websites in the Enforcement Rule of Imported Food Act as the legal basis.

According to the South Korean Food Policy 2021, MFDS planned to supervise the online purchased imported food safety in three stages: purchasing, import declaration, and distribution. The assemblymen’s proposal can be seen as the starting point of the Korean authority’s management of imported food purchased online. (Read More)

8. South Korea Consults on Regulation of False Labeling or Advertising Contents of Food | May 17

On May 17, 2021, MFDS disclosed the draft of Regulation of False Labeling or Advertising Contents of Food to solicit public opinions. This draft expands the scope of prohibited “sugar-free” labels and advertisements following the requirements in the Food Labeling Standard. The draft also permits the “natural, nature (천연/자연)” claims when the relevant contents are indicated in a brand name. In addition, some inaccurate labeling and advertisement examples are modified. (Read More)

9. South Korea Proposes to Revise the Registration and Management Standard of Good Importer and Good Foreign Food Facility | May 21

On May 21, 2021, MFDS released the draft of the Registration and Management Standard of Good Importer and Good Foreign Food Facility. The draft mainly proposes to amend the standard’s name into Registration and Management Standard of Good Importer, as the “good foreign food facility” registration mechanism was replaced by HACCP. The provisions about “good foreign food facility” are deleted along as well. The draft also optimizes the overseas facility inspection requirements. (Read More)

10. South Korea Releases the Guideline on Understanding the Usage Standard of Food Additives| May 24

On May 24, 2021, MFDS published the Guideline on Understanding the Usage Standard of Food Additives. The guideline aims to help enterprises better understand the usage standards of food additives stipulated under the Food Additive Code. (Read More)

11. South Korea to Amend the Food Labeling Standard | May 25

On May 25, 2021, MFDS proposed to revise the Food Labeling Standard. The main amendments include: (1) Improving the legibility of the “containing less than 1% alcohol” claim on non-alcoholic food by using different background color; (2) Adding examples of labeling the number of lactic acid bacteria in food; (3) Exempting the content labeling of natural food in transparent packaging. (Read More)

12. South Korea Revises the Enforcement Rule of Act on Labeling and Advertising of Foods | May 27

MFDS promulgated the revised Enforcement Rule of Act on Labeling and Advertising of Foods on May 27, 2021. The regulation newly requires 29 food categories to place the nutrition facts label, and specifies the general food with function claims to go through a “voluntary review of labeling or advertising” before marketing. Find the details at ChemLinked News.

13. South Korea to Permit Food Container Use the Recycled Packaging Materials| May 29

On May 29, 2021, MFDS issued the draft of Standards and Specifications concerning Apparatus, Containers and Packages. In an effort to promote resource recycling, MFDS and the Ministry of Environment (MOE) planned to permit enterprises to use the recycled colorless PET bottles as the raw material of food containers. The competent authorities also drafted the standards of the appropriate recycled packaging materials to ensure food safety. The standards were established based on international standards. (Read More

14. South Korea Introduces the Good Elderly Food Certificate Mechanism | May 31

On May 31, 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) promulgated the “good elderly food certificate mechanism” to meet the increasing demand for high-quality elderly food. The standards of the product’s viscosity, nutrition ingredients, label, etc. are specified. Besides, the “good elderly food” shall be manufactured in a HACCP facility or a health functional food facility. Enterprises can apply for the certificate to National Food Cluster. (Read More)

15. South Korea Revises the Regulations on the Inspection of Imported Health Functional Food | Jun. 8

On May 10, 2021, MFDS unveiled the draft of Regulations on Inspection of Imported Health Functional Food, which mainly proposed to clarify the requirements of thorough inspection. Soon after, on June 8, 2021, MFDS issued the revised Regulations on Imported Health Functional Food Inspection. It specifies that the product with a non-compliance history shall undergo a thorough inspection, includinganassessment of the previous non-compliance item. Besides, the import declaration can be filed in advance before the goods arrive at the bonded warehouse. (Find More)  

16 South Korea Consults on Health Functional Food Code| Jun. 10

On June 10, 2021, MFDS issued two announcements (No. 2021-2521 and No. 2021-2532), soliciting public opinions of the drafts of Health Functional Food Code. Announcement No. 2021-252 proposed the precautions for intake of 8 functional ingredients, including the ingredients of ginseng, red ginseng, chlorella, etc. Announcement No. 2021-253 mainly proposed new raw material for manufacturing Vitamin K2. Stakeholders can send suggestions to MFDS before August 10, 2021. (Find the details at ChemLinked News)

17. South Korea Implements the On-site Inspection Method and Standard of Overseas OEM| Jun. 14

On June 14, 2021, MFDS rolled out the On-Site Inspection Method and Standard of Imported Food from Overseas OEM. This standard is newly formulated to regulate the standard of food manufactured out of South Korea. It mainly clarifies the sanitation standard, inspection standard, and inspection exemptions, etc. (Find More)

18. South Korea Updates Food Code | Jun. 29

On June 29, 2021, South Korea revised the Food Code. The amendments include the general provision, pesticides and veterinary drugs residue limits, new raw materials, storage standard, new product type, testing methods, etc. (Find the details at ChemLinked News)

19. South Korea Consults on the Food Code| Jun. 30

On June 30, 2021, MFDS published three drafts of Food Code (Amendments No. 2021-288, No. 2021-289, No. 2021-290) for public opinion.

Amendments No. 2021-288 introduces a subcategory of home meal replace (HMR) products: meat HMR food. It specifies the definition, manufacturing standard and specification. HMR food product consists of semi-prepared food materials. It is easy to cook at home and thus became a hot item in South Korea amid COVID-19 pandemic. At present, meat product is not included under HMR category. The increasing consumption demand of meat HMR food accelerated the authority’s legislation. Therefore, MFDS proposed the relevant provisions, intending to intensify the food safety control and promote the industry’s product innovation.

In addition, Amendment No. 2021-289 proposes to amend the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) of 58 pesticides in agricultural products. Amendment No. 2021-289 proposes to add MRL of 110 pesticides in agricultural products.

20. South Korea Revises Enforcement Rule of Imported Food Act | Jun. 30

On June 30, 2021, MFDS promulgated the revised Enforcement Rule of Imported Food Act. The regulation requests an additional document for registering a Foreign Food Facility (FFF) and a mandatory sanitary certificate of the imported livestock products. Additionally, the authority designated the overseas facilities manufacturing kimchi as the first batch of FFF subject to HACCP. Other FFFs can also apply for the HACCP accreditation if they comply with the HACCP criteria. The enterprise can use the HACCP label on the products after the FFF passes the HACCP accreditation. Find the details at ChemLinked News.

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