After 3 August 2016, food products from New Zealand premises that are not registered with the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) will not be cleared for entry into South Korea.

The Korean Special Act on Imported Food Safety came into force on 4 February 2016, requiring that all food products for human consumption intended for export to Korea must be sourced from premises registered with the MFDS.

The registration process for premises that manufacture meat, processed meat products and dairy products is a government to government process between MFDS and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). MPI is still negotiating the acceptance of a New Zealand government list of fish processors and freezer vessels.

For all other food products, manufacturers must be registered through the MFDS website. This includes manufacturers of processed foods, alcoholic beverages, food additives and health and functional foods and packhouses that pack fresh produce for export.

It is possible for either the New Zealand manufacturer to register directly or their Korean importer to register on their behalf. However, New Zealand manufacturers that register directly will have more control over their registration.

To register, please visit the MFDS ‘Application for Registration of Foreign Food Facility’ page.

 Registration tips

MPI understands that it will take about three to five days for MFDS to process the registration. MPI has been advised that manufacturers will receive a registration acknowledgement email. However, it appears there are some issues and these emails are not always being received. Therefore, companies are encouraged to check whether their registration has been successful.

MPI understands the best way to check registration is to go to the MFDS website at the link above and select the following:

  • my civil petition; then select
  • contents of civil petition; then
  • in the email field, put the email address used when registering, and click on the search button.

Companies may also be able to get additional information from their importers.