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FAQs for Imported Food: South Korea 2020

A collection of FAQs on the food sector this year.

On November 25, 2020, MFDS (Ministry of Food and Drug Safety) published a collection of FAQs on the food sector this year. ChemLinked compiles ten important food importation issues about the food materials, labels, dairy products, FCM, and health functional food, for enterprises’ reference.  

1. How to declare the net content of a health functional food in capsule form

Each time before importation, the company shall submit an import declaration of the product information (including net content) to MFDS. The “net content” is defined as "the total weight minus the weight of the packaging."

Therefore, in the case of a capsule form food, the net content shall be the actual intake contents, including the capsule’s weight.

2. Suppose only the accessory materials or the formulation of accessory materials of a functional food has changed. Can the product be seen as the same imported product from the same company (동일사 동일수입식품)?

[Regulation backgrouod:

As stated in Imported Food Act, the enterprise shall submit an import declaration to MFDS and have the products tested. The imported functional food can be distributed in S. Korea only after passing the test being confirmed as in compliance with the requirements under Health Function Food Code.

Health functional foods are subject to “detailed inspection (the strictest customs inspection)” for the first time to export to S. Korea. Then for the “same imported products from the same company (동일사 동일수입식품)”, only a “document inspection” will be requested. ]

The standard for the “same imported product from the same company (동일사 동일수입식품)” is:

  The same main functional ingredient formulated with the same accessory materials following the same manufacturing methods produced by the same foreign food facility as the first imported and tested product. 

Therefore, if the accessory materials or the formulation accessory materials of a functional food changed, the functional product cannot be regarded as the same product. The product shall undergo the detailed inspection again.

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