Important Reminder for those Exporting Food (and Plant) Products to Korea

KOREA'S Special Act on Imported Food Safety Management came into effect on 4 February 2016 and exporters to Korea need to urgently complete the web-based registration process as the 6-month grace period will come to an end on 3 August 2016.

The Act requires all foreign food establishments that produce, manufacture, process, treat and/or store food, plant products including grains and fresh fruit and vegetables for human consumption intended for export to Korea to complete a web-based registration process.

Registration Process

  • Registration must be received at least seven days before an import declaration is raised.
  • Registrations are valid for two years
  • Applications for registrations can be submitted by either the exporting food facility or by the Korean importers who have been granted permission from the food facilities to submit applications on their behalf.

The Special Act on Imported Food Safety Management indicates the following as foreign food facilities:

  • Grains - grain storage, grain packaging (registered export establishment), etc.
  • Processed products - breakfast cereals such as oat bran, maize grits, flour, barley malted, etc., it includes processing, manufacturing, storing and packaging facilities.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables - growers, packaging and treatment facilities (registered export establishments), etc.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) may conduct an on-site inspection of a foreign food facility where the MFDS deems that it is necessary. Inspections will be arranged through prior consultation with the government in the exporting country.

Where the government of an exporting country or a foreign food facility refuses an on-site inspection; or a hazard is found during an on-site inspection, the Minister for the MFDS may suspend the importation of food of that foreign food facility.

Where a foreign food facility has been suspended by the MFDS - the government of an exporting country (or the foreign food facility/or the importer of foreign food) can propose a solution to the identified food safety issue. Providing that the solution is acceptable, the Minister for MFDS may revoke the suspension. In such cases, the Minister may request an on-site inspection to ensure the hazard has been reduced to an acceptable level.

If you require further information or would like to begin exporting goods to Korea, please contact the Seabridge exports team on 1800 727 195.

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