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New Food Labelling, Insurance and Origin Tracking Rules Announced

Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare to introduce seven new food-safety regulations this month.

Photo: Mislabelled milky products could lead to hefty fines for food businesses across Taiwan. (Shutterstock.com/Polly Chong)
Mislabelled milky products could lead to hefty fines for food businesses across Taiwan.
Photo: Mislabelled milky products could lead to hefty fines for food businesses across Taiwan. (Shutterstock.com/Polly Chong)
Mislabelled milky products could lead to hefty fines for food businesses across Taiwan.

Seven new food-safety regulations are due to come into effect on or before 31 July 2017. These new requirements have been proscribed by the Food and Drug Administration, a department of Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The seven new regulations are as follows:

1. Maximum Limits and Labelling Requirements for Potassium Iodide and Potassium Iodate Additives in Table Salt

The maximum limit for the level of nutritional additives of potassium iodide and potassium iodate in table salt is to be raised. All table salt packaging should display the name of the product, any relevant warning and the statutory nutritional labelling, whether or not it contains any such additives.

2. Product Name Labelling for Pre-packaged Cream, Butter Fat, Margarine and Spreadable Fats

The specific fat content of products labelled as cream or fresh cream/butter fat/edible shea butter/fresh shea butter, margarine or spreadable fat must comply with the required standard.

3. Product Name Labelling on Pre-packaged Creamer Products

Products labelled as creamers, but which do not contain milk powder/milk or have a milk content below 50%, must be labelled accordingly.

4. Labelling on Food Sold Via Vending Machines

Food sold via vending machines (including packaged food, loose items or food prepared within a vending machine) should be labelled with the name of the vending machine operating company, the content, origin and a list of potential allergens. Details of any reconstituted meat or genetically modified content should also be recorded.

5. Labelling of Food Utensils, Food Containers and Packaging

Any surfaces containing plastics that are likely to be in contact with food must be labelled in accordance with Article 26 of the Law on Food Safety. Consumers must be informed as to whether a particular product is suitable for food contact and whether it is intended for multiple or one-off use. Clear reminders as to the necessary precautions when using these products should also be provided.

6. Product Liability Insurance Coverage for Food Business Operators

The range of business operators obliged to have product liability insurance coverage is to be extended to include any food business operator in possession of a factory registration but no corporate or business registration.

7. Food Traceability System Now Obligatory in Three Additional Food Businesses Categories

Edible vinegar, egg products and baby-food businesses are now all required to put in place food traceability systems.

The first six regulations went into force on 1 July 2017, with the seventh to be phased in by 31 July.

In additional moves, a fine of not less than NT$30,000 (US$988) and not more than NT$3 million may be imposed on food business operators in the following circumstances: failure to comply with standards regarding the scope, limits and specifications of food additive usage, failure to comply with relevant food labelling regulations, and failure to implement the required product liability insurance.

The same penalties can also be imposed upon any food business operator proven to be managing a traceability system on the basis of false information, as well as on any food business operator that fails to establish a traceability system within the required time frame.

Additionally, any food business operators whose products are found to carry false/misleading labelling may be fined a sum of not less than NT$40,000 and not more than NT$4 million. Any products circulated without the required labelling will face a statutory recall and may not be offered for sale until the appropriate labelling is in place.

Sylvia Yeh, Taiwan Office

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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