April 2014 New labeling regulations in Japan
In June 2013, “Food Labeling Law” was promulgated. Since November 2013, the contents of the food labeling standards have been discussed. As the mid-term report was published on 28th March, we introduce its development.
What name and address must be listed on the label?
Present Situation (Processed Foods):
Under Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) Law The name and address of the person or company responsible for labeling shall be declared on the label.
Under Food Sanitation Act The name and address of manufacturing or processing factory, which could pose a sanitary hazard, shall be declared on the label, in order to deal with any sanitary issues immediately, when necessary. The name and address of the person or company responsible for labeling shall also be declared on the label, according to the food labeling standards.
We will be required to label the name and address of those (manufacturers, distributors, processors or importers)
－as “the responsible person or company”
－who have the most detailed information on the food product concerned.
1.To deal with various distribution channels.
2.To clarify who is responsible for labeling.
Under the current labeling standards, there is no need to declare the name and address (factory) of manufacturer on the label, as long as its ID code*, along with the name and address of the distributor, is listed. However, under the new Food Labeling Law, the declaration of the manufacturer’s name and address (factory), instead of the ID code, will be required as the one responsible for producing the product concerned.
*It is currently discussed whether or not the same is to be applied to food products imported into Japan.