Korea Special Act on Imported Food

Attached is the GAIN report on Korea’s Special Act on Imported Food.  The report provides changes/new requirements that have been made in the Special Act.  It also provides an instruction for foreign facilities to register their plants to the Ministry of Food & Drug Safety.  As noted in the report, foreign facilities includes not only food facilities but also packing houses, grain storage facilities (such as export elevators), fishery plants, etc. that handle products that are inspected by MFDS.

On the registration application, MFDS requires that foreign facilities agree to an inspection by MFDS. Foreign facilities must agree to an MFDS inspection but please note that this does not mean that MFDS will inspect all the facilities that agreed to the inspection.  With this agreement from foreign facilities, MFDS told us that MFDS would make sure that they can visit foreign facilities when there is a compelling reason for them to visit and inspect foreign facilities the same as what FDA does for foreign facilities.

US facilities that have business with Korea must be registered to MFDS by July 25, 2016. (Korea’s current grace period for foreign facility registration end on August 3.  That means that the facility registration for products that will arrive Korea on August 4 shall be completed 7 days prior to import declaration.  In short, products whose import declaration is submitted on August 3, or before will not require the facility registration but any products whose import declaration will be submitted on August 4, or after will require the facility registration and the registration shall be completed 7 days prior to the import declaration.  By calculating 7 working days from August 4, it is July 25.  The registration via on-line is a quick process.  However, according to MFDS regulation, it may take the maximum three working days.  Also, when we are approaching to the end of the grace period, lots of registration submission is expected.  Therefore, we suggest US facilities submit the on-line registration no later than July 19 to be safe.  If the facility is not registered on August 4 or after, MFDS will not process import inspection of imported products from unregistered facilities.

On-line link for the GAIN report is as follows:  Korea's Special Act