Malaysia - Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

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Malaysia’s Food Act 1983 and the Food Regulations of 1985 govern food safety and quality control, including food standards, food hygiene, food import and export, food advertisement and accreditation of laboratories. The Food Safety and Quality Division (FSQD) of the Ministry of Health (MOH) is charged with implementing and enforcing the law. FSQD implements an active food safety program, which includes routine compliance, sampling, food premises inspection, food import control activity and licensing of specified food substances required under Food Act 1983 and its Food Regulation 1985. It also monitors for specific food contaminants and additives. The FSQD also implements food handlers training programs, approves food labels, advises industry and consumers, and provides Health Certificates, HACCP certification, and Free Sale Certificates.
Specific compositional and labeling requirements were developed for particular food products. The use of health claims on labels is very restrictive. The content requirements are not restrictive for U.S. products, but receiving approval for new food additives, especially those not currently recognized by Codex Alimentarius can be onerous. Since more than half of the Malaysian population is Muslim, labeling requirements for products containing pork and alcohol are very strict. Attention should be given to adhering to Malaysian labeling requirements to avoid any problems at the port of entry or on the retail level.

Loh Lee Pin