Taiwan eases import restrictions on Japanese food products affected by Fukushima nuclear disaster

On February 21, 2022, Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (“MOHW”) issued two administrative orders that generally lifted Taiwan’s decade-long import ban on food products from five Japanese prefectures affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. While most food products from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures (the “five prefectures”) can now be imported into Taiwan subject to safety and compliance inspections To Taiwan’s food safety standards, the following Japanese food products are exceptions that continue to be prohibited from importation:

  1. Products that Japan restricts from sale and distribution;
  2. Meat from birds and wild animals from the five prefectures;
  3. Mushrooms from the Five Prefectures; and
  4. Rapeseed from the Five Prefectures (Order MOHW Wei Shou Shi No. 1111300354 Japanese food products suspended from import inspection (import bans) and manufacturing regions).

A radiation test certificate, a certificate of origin and an application for inspection submitted to the government authority are required to import the following Japanese food products:

  1. Products whose import is not restricted from the five prefectures;
  2. Mushrooms produced in Miyagi, Iwate, Yamanashi and Shizuoka;
  3. Seafood products made in Miyagi and Iwate;
  4. Tea products made in Shizuoka; and
  5. Dairy products and baby food produced in Miyagi, Saitama and Tokyo (MOHW Order FDA Shi No. 1111300360 Japanese food products suspended from import inspection (import bans) and manufacturing regions).

Under previous rules issued by Taiwan’s MOHW, all food products from radiation-contaminated areas in Japan, including the five prefectures, were subject to import inspection suspension (import bans) since 2011.

According to the MOHW, the new rules reflect Taiwan’s efforts to comply with relevant international food safety standards. Taiwan’s new food security regime is expected to have a positive impact on international trade and transactions between Taiwan and other countries.

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