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Japanese Newly Revised MRLs for Pesticides and Veterinary Drugs in Food [Historical Resources Included]

In Japan, MHLW formulates the maximum residue limits for all pesticides, feed additives, and veterinary drugs in food products to avoid harming human health. Inspection of imported food for pesticide residues will be carried out at the quarantine station. According to the Food Sanitation Act, the sale and import of food with exceeding pesticide residues shall be prohibited.

Editor's Note: This article summarizes the changes in Japanese pesticides and veterinary drugs residues, as per the latest developments. Previous contents can be seen at the bottom of the article.

On February 14, 2023, Japan MHLW released an amendment to Specification and Standards for Food, Food additives, Etc., stating that the maximum residue limits (MRLs) of seven pesticides have been revised. They are acynonapyr, trifloxystrobin, fenarimol, fenpyrazamine, fluxametamide, flonicamid, and penthiopyrad. The amendment became effective upon its publication on February 14, 2023, but there is a one-year transition period for the MRLs of the above seven pesticides in some foods. During the transition period, the previous standards are still applicable.

Seven pesticides:




  • Increased the MRLs for acynonapyr in 19 foods, among which the MRL in grape changed 200 times.


  • Raised the MRLs for trifloxystrobin in nine kinds of vegetables, such as cabbage and sweet potato.

  • Greatly relaxed the MRL for trifloxystrobin in spinach, from 0.01 ppm to 20 ppm.


  • Tightened the MRLs for fenarimol in 141 foods, such as tea and oyster.

  • Newly stipulated fenarimol’s MRL in chili peppers as five ppm.


  • Reduced the MRLs for fenpyrazamine in 32 foods. MRLs in fruits showed the biggest change. For example, the MRLs in peach and apricot were relaxed from the original 0.01ppm to 4 ppm.


  • Slightly lowered the MRLs for fluxametamide in eight foods, such soybean, onion, and edamame.

  • Increased the MRLs for fluxametamide in 32 foods. Notably, fluxametamide limits in some herb products were 2,000 times higher than before.


  • Revised the MRLs for flonicamid in 83 foods, among which only the MRLs in peach and spice were dropped.


  • Changed the MRLs for penthiopyrad in 17 foods, excluding meat products. Notably, MRLs in raspberry and blackberry were both 1000 times higher than before.

Feel free to contact ChemLinked if you need translation service for the complete limit changes.

Reference link

[1] Amendment to Specification and Standards for Food, Food additives, Etc., 

Click on the date to view historical content.

November 22, 2022

On November 22, 2022, Japan MHLW issued an amendment to Specification and Standards for Food, Food additives, Etc., which mainly revised maximum residue limits (MRLs) for six pesticides and veterinary drugs. The amendment has come into force since its publication on November 22, 2022. However, the lower MRLs brought by this revision will be officially implemented on November 22, 2023, and enterprises can still follow the previous standards during the one-year transition period.

Six pesticides and veterinary drugs

Pesticide and veterinary drug



  • Strictly controlled the MRLs for etofenprox in seven foods, including rice (brown rice), wheat, soybeans, pea, peanut, taro and Sweet potato. Especially for Brussels sprout, the MRL was changed from the original 2ppm to 0.01ppm.

  • Increased the MRLs for etofenprox in 20 foods.


  • Raised the MRL for tetraconazole in tomato from 0.7 ppm to 0.6 ppm.

  • Relaxed the MRLs for tetraconazole in 9 kinds of food.


  • Reduced the MRLs for nicarbazin in various edible parts related to chicken.


  • Tightened MRLs for fenpyroximate in five foods, including soybean, cucumber, mango, cottonseed, and other cucurbitaceae vegetables.

  • The MRLs for fenpyroximate in 36 foods were higher than before. Among them, the MRLs in celery and blackberry were 300 times as much as those of before.


  • Slightly lowered the MRLs for fluensulfone in sweet potato, komatsuna, cucumber and watermelon.

  • Increased the MRLs for fluensulfone in 41 foods. Notably, fluensulfone limits in konjac and sugar beet were both 300 times higher than before.


  • The MRLs for florasulam in wheat, barley and secale cereale was newly set as 0.01 ppm.

Feel free to contact ChemLinked if you need translation service for the complete limit changes.

Besides, MHLW has opened a draft for public comments, which aims to revise residue amounts for nine pesticides, non-detectable pesticides, test methods and exempted substances. The formal amendment is expected to be notified in February 2023.

Reference link

[1] Amendment to Specification and Standards for Food, Food additives, Etc., 

[2] Draft revision for the amendment

[3] Assessment of the effects of food on health for DDAC, o-Dichlorobenzene and cloxacillin

[4] Assessment of the effects of food on health for florasulam

October 26, 2022
August 30, 2022
August 10, 2022
May 20, 2022
March 17, 2022
February 25, 2022
December 17, 2021
October 19, 2021
August 31, 2021
June 25, 2021
May 27, 2021
May 13, 2021
March 26, 2021
February 3, 2021

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