Food Compliance
Intelligence & Solutions
Thailand Food Regulation
Oct 18, 2017
Yilia Ye
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1. Competent authority

Competent authority


Ministry of Public Health (MOPH)

MOPH is responsible for the oversight of public health in Thailand. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a department subordinated to MOPH, which regulates imports of processed food, whose key responsibility is to ensure that businesses comply with the Thai food laws and regulations. It takes charge of the issuance of manufacturing licenses or import licenses, advertising licenses, etc.  

Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC)

MOAC is responsible for the administration of agricultural products. Its subordinated departments respectively supervise the segmented sectors, for example:

Department of Livestock Development (DLD): responsible for formulating regulations on meat and meat products.

Department of Fisheries (DOF) responsible for formulating regulations on fresh and processed aquatic products.

Department of Agriculture (DOA): responsible for formulating regulations on crops and farm mechanization.


Thai Customs is responsible for examining food imported into and exported from Thailand and  determining whether the food products comply with the Customs Act and other relevant provisions.

2. Market access approval

2.1Supervision towards different types of food

According to the Food Act B.E. 2522, food can be classified into the following four categories, which are subject to different levels of supervision.

Food category

Supervision measures


Specifically-controlled foods

Product registration is required. In addition, the product should conform to the legal provisions regarding standard quality, specifications, packaging, and labeling requirements, as well as other aspects of good manufacturing practices.

High-risk food

e.g. food for weight control, modified milk for infants and modified milk of uniform formula for infants and children, food for infants and food of uniform formula for infants and small children, supplementary food for infants and young children, food additives, enzymes used in food production, cleaning or sanitizing products for food, hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, hemp seed protein and food products containing hemp seeds, hemp seed oil or hemp seed protein, food products containing certain parts of cannabis or hemp, and food products containing cannabidiol extracts.

Standardized foods

Product owners are directly responsible for the product compliance. Foods produced under this category must adhere to quality standards as defined in the regulations. This category was created to standardize the production of locally produced food from small-scale and household industries for consumers to differentiate such products by qualitative attributes, and for encouraging food producers on attaining hygienic quality of their products.

Medium-risk food

e.g. food supplements, royal jelly and royal jelly products, cow’ s milk, flavored milk, other milk products, fermented milk, ice cream, food in hermetically sealed container, beverages in sealed container, chocolate, vitamin fortified rice, edible salt, electrolyte drinks, tea, coffee, soybean milk in sealed container, mineral water, certain kinds of sauces, food seasoning derived from hydrolysis or fermentation of soybean protein, fish sauce, vinegar, edible oils and fats, fish oils, butter oil, margarine, blends, fat spreads and blended fat spreads, cream, cheese, semi-processed food, honey, jam, jelly and marmalade in sealed container, ghee, butter, alkaline-preserved eggs, tea infusion, brine for cooking, drinking water in a sealed container, and ice.

Foods required to bear standardized labels

Product owners are directly responsible for the product compliance as well. This category is less restricted than the first two categories, as foods under this category pose lower risk to consumers’ health and does not have to follow specific quality standards for manufacturing. However, products must bear standardized labels that provide consumer information.

Medium-risk food

e.g. husked rice flour, prepared gelatin dessert and jelly, irradiated food, sauces in a sealed container, flavoring agents, bread, chewing gums and candies, ready-to-cook food and ready-to-eat food, special purposed food, meat products and food derived from genetically modified organisms.

General foods

Registrations are not required, but general food products are controlled and monitored from the perspectives of hygiene, safety, labeling and advertisements.

Raw, cooked, preserved, non-preserved, processed, and non-processed foods that are not listed in the above categories.

e.g.animals and animal products, plants and plant products, extracts or synthetic substances, nutrients, flour and flour products, premixed food for ready-to-cook products, seasoning, sugar, and spices.

2.2 Import permit

According to Food Act B.E. 2522, importers are required to obtain an import license to import food for sale in Thailand. Enterprises can submit the application online. However, before using the application system for the first time, enterprises should submit relevant documents to open an account. Please check TFDA FAQ for more information.

2.3 Good Manufacturing Practice certification

Thailand FDA requires 66 types of food products to be produced according to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Therefore, enterprises also need to present a GMP or “free sale” certificate to prove that the products imported meet Thailand regulations.

2.4 Inspection & quarantine

All imported food will be inspected at the border. Agricultural products like meat, aquatic products, etc. are subject to quarantine as well. If the inspection or analysis result showcase that the products fail to meet Thailand’s standards, these products will be returned or destroyed.

3. Product compliance

Imported food should comply with relevant law, regulations and standards in Thailand. Food Act is the fundamental law of Thailand’s regulation framework. MOPH notifications/announcements specify more detailed requirements for specific food products. The following table lists some key regulations of food industry.



General rules

Food and Drug Administration Notification of the Food Safety Assessment Agencies Accepted by the Food and Drug Administration and Food Safety Assessment Guidelines

Notification of the Food and Drug Administration Re: Safety Assessment Agencies for Novel Food Accepted by the Food and Drug Administration and Novel Food Safety Assessment Guidelines

MOPH Notification No. 420 B.E. 2563 (2020) Re: Food Production Processes, Processing Equipment/Utensils and Storage Practices

Food additives

MOPH Notification No. 418 B.E. 2563 (2020) Re: prescribing the principle, conditions, methods and proportion of food additives (No.2)

Notification of the Ministry of Public Health (No. 443) B.E. 2562 Re: Enzymes for Use in Food Production

Product standards

MOPH Notification No. 238 B.E. 2544 (2001) Re: Special Purposed Foods

MOPH Notification No. 293 B.E. 2548 (2005) Re. Food Supplement

Ministry of Public Health Notification (No. 442) B.E. 2566 Re: Products Derived from Cocoa Beans

Ministry of Public Health Notification (No. 441) B.E. 2566 Re: Chocolate and Chocolate Products

Hygienic indicators

Notification of the Ministry of Public Health (No. 414) B.E.2563 Issued by Virtue of the Food Act B.E. 2522 Re: Standards for Contaminants in Food

MOPH Notification No. 416 (B.E. 2563 (2020)) Re: Prescribing the Quality or Standard, Principles, Conditions and Methods of Analysis for Pathogenic Microorganisms in Foods


MOPH Notification No. 435 B.E. 2022 Re: Determination of Quality or Standards of Plastic Containers

Please contact ChemLinked for the compliance requirements of specific products.

4. Label

MOPH Notification No. 367 BE 2557 (2014) Re: Labeling of Prepackaged Foods and MOPH Notification No. 401 (B.E. 2562(2019)) Re: Labeling of Prepackaged Foods No. 3 are the major references for the labeling requirements for prepacked food. According to the two regulations, the labeling content should be in Thai and include the following items:

  • Name of the food

  • Food serial number

  • Name and address of the manufacturer/packers/importers

  • Food content in metric system

  • Ingredient list (in descending orders by weight)

  • Allergenic substances

  • Functional class titles of food additives together with specific names or with International Numbering System (INS)

  • Text of “natural imitation odor added”, “artificial flavor added”, “natural flavor added” or “natural imitation flavor added” if such situation happens.

  • Shelf life

  • Warning statement (if any)

  • Storage condition (if any)

In terms of nutrition labeling, enterprises should refer to MOPH Notification No. 392 (B.E. 2561 (2018)) Re: Nutrition Labeling No.3 for the detailed requirements. In Thailand, nutrition labeling is mandatory for the following food products:

  • Food with have nutrition claim.

  • Foods which utilize food value in sales promotion.

  • Foods which target specific consumer groups in sales promotion.

  • Other foods subject to notification by Food and Drug Administration

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China, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, United States, European Union, Australia, New Zealand etc.

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