Argentina - Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards
The Argentine Food Code (Código Alimentario Argentino – CAA) is the technical rule created by Law §18284 passed in 1969 and put into force by Decree §2126 in 1971 that regulates locally produced and imported food products. The CAA’s main goal is to protect public health and the good faith in commercial transactions of food products within the National territory of Argentina.
The CAA incorporates standards agreed upon within the Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur) framework, which in turn are influenced by standards from: 1) the European Union; 2) the Codex Alimentarius (Codex); and 3) the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The CAA is permanently updated by joint resolutions from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture.
There are three government agencies that have the authority to enforce the CAA in Argentina:
A. Within the Ministry of Agriculture:
- The National Animal and Plant Health and Food Safety Service (Servicio Nacional de Sanidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria - SENASA) that handles those food products under the annexes I and II of Decree §815. That is, fresh, chilled, or frozen products and by-products of animal, plant and seafood origin. It also handles canned products containing over 60% animal origin and food preparations containing over 80% animal origin.
- The National Wine Institute (Instituto Nacional de Vitivinicultura - INV) exercises control over wine and wine products during their production, manufacturing, and marketing stages.
B. Within the Ministry of Health:
- The National Food Institute (Instituto Nacional de Alimentos - INAL) which depends on the National Drug and Medical Technology Administration (ANMAT), regulates consumer-ready food products, health supplements, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, with the exception of wine.