On July 11, 2017, Philippines Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a draft Administrative Order “Adoption of all Philippine National Standards (PNS) approved and issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other standards as Technical Regulation”. The purpose of this draft order is to call for public comment on the following governmental decisions:
- The Philippine National Standards (PNS) on Ethnic Food Products and the specific Code of Practice that have been finalised by the FDA and approved by the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) from 2005 to date, and listed in Annex A of the draft, will be adopted as Technical Regulations and will become mandatory. For example, when applying for the License to Operate (LTO) and/or the Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) from FDA, these technical regulations will be mandatory for both domestic and imported foods.
- Similar process will be applied to PNS for other Processed Food Products that are developed and issued by Department of Agriculture (DA) through Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS). Such standards will also become mandatory, as is the case with the standards issued by the FDA.
- Any outdated Food Standards listed in Annex B of the draft order will be superseded by the latest Codex Commodity Standard. In practice, this means that if a national food standard was adopted before the relevant Codex one, Codex standard will apply.
- For the Microbiological Standards for other Processed Food Products, other than the ones included in the PNS, the latest version of “FDA Circular 2013-010” and “Revised Guidelines for the Assessment of Microbiological Quality of Processed Foods” will be adopted.
- In terms of Food Additives, the latest Codex General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA, Codex Stan 192-1995) will be adopted.
- For Contaminants in Food as Raw Materials, the latest Codex General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed (Codex Stan 193-1995) will be adopted.
- Any other succeeding or newly approved PNS from the FDA will likewise become mandatory.
- In the case of an absence of a National Standard, the Codex Alimentarius latest Commodity Standard will apply.
If this draft is approved, it will come into force 15 days after its publication in the official gazette.
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Article by Yashna Wadher and Yolanda Li, Food Regulatory Experts @ Selerant