Taiwan - Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

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The Department of Health (DOH) is the statutory body responsible for the management of food safety in Taiwan. All food products, whether produced domestically or imported, must comply with the “Act Governing Food Sanitation.” The term “foods” as used in this Act refers to goods provided to people for eating, drinking or chewing, and the raw materials used to produce these products. Taiwan established the Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) as an agency within the DOH on January 1, 2010. TFDA incorporated four former DOH agencies -- the Bureaus of Food Safety, Food and Drug Analysis, Pharmaceutical Affairs, and Controlled Drugs -- into one unified entity for Taiwan‟s food and drug safety-related service. The responsibility for border inspection of food imports, previously commissioned to the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI), was transferred to TFDA on January 1, 2011.
The Council of Agriculture (COA) is the statutory body responsible for animal and plant quarantine. COA‟s Bureau of Animal & Plant Health Inspection & Quarantine (BAPHIQ) fulfills a combination of functions similar to those conducted by USDA‟s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), such as quarantine inspection of fresh produce, meat and poultry, and pet food.
Fresh produce is randomly inspected for pesticide residues (see Section V.) by TFDA, and the accompanying Federal Phytosanitary Certificate (FPC) is checked batch-by-batch by BAPHIQ for completeness and accuracy. Border inspection of meat products consists of a visual inspection of the product by BAPHIQ, a random test for animal drugs and pesticide residues by TFDA, and a thorough check of the accompanying USDA health certificates for accuracy and completeness by BAPHIQ and TFDA inspectors (see Section VI.) Discrepancies or insufficiencies on these certificates will lead to delays in customs clearance and usually require reissuing the certificate. In the worst case, documentation problems may lead to rejection of the entire shipment.

Chris Frederick
Rosemary Kao
Amy Hsueh