Foodstuffs exempt from import licence now under post market surveillance

Writer: 
Ei Thizar Kyaw
Officials from the Department of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conduct surprise checks on foodstuffs at a supermarket.

The Department of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has exempted 1,008 items of foodstuffs considered to be least harmful from having to apply for import licence, and those products are under post market surveillance before being available in local markets.

"For the foodstuffs likely to be harmful, they will receive licences only after getting license from us. FDA has to ensure food safety and quality. Those foodstuff at medium and high levels of safety and quality require FDA recommendations," said an FDA official. "But the foodstuffs on the list of least harmfulness don't need to apply for import licences. We announced which foods are high, medium or low. Similarly, 1,008 kinds of foreign-made foods have been exempted from import licences. That doesn’t mean they are not under control. We will control them under a post market surveillance system. For other kinds of foods, they will have to be imported after getting recommendations from our department."

FDA is easing restrictions step-by-step on the procedures for importing foodstuffs. In the first step, food additives were exempted from getting recommendations from FDA in order to apply for an import licence. The list of those items can be browsed on www.codex-alimentarius.org.

In the second step, FDA announced in the second week of March last year that 1,008 items of foodstuffs deemed least harmful could apply for import licences from the Trade Department without the need to apply a licence from FDA. Details are available at www.fda-myanmar.gov.mm.

However, FDA has announced that there could be changes in those kinds of foodstuffs depending on risk-based surveillance.