To tackle Korea’s challenging food safety problems and increased importation of foods, Korea implemented the Special Law on Safety Administration of Imported Foods on the 4th of Feb 2016. Tremendous changes have been made to the previous regulations governing imported food.
The new law will be phased in gradually to ensure a seamless transition between the new and old regulatory system and ensure the continuity of Korea’s food safety environment. Similar to China’s new food safety law, Korea’s new system will place a much greater emphasis on onsite inspection in country of origin for all international manufacturers exporting to Korea through a system of scheduled audits and accreditation which will function as the major premarket approval barrier. Under the new system import of food in Korea will be subject to the following checkpoints.
- Pre-market approval, audit and accreditation stage: MFDS officials will visit overseas food manufacturers and processors. Companies that refuse to be inspected or are found to have problems will be ordered to stop export to Korea immediately, asked to rectify food safety issues or implement new prevention and control measures. In addition, MFDS implements a registration system for these foreign food producers and processors prior to importation and will supervise registered enterprises through an online system.