How do I obtain foreign confectionary legislation without incurring huge costs?

Question posted by Ivan Neve, on behalf of The Real Ice Co in TN17

I am trying to find copies of confectionary legislation to hold on file for countries like USA, Russia and Japan without incurrng huge costs to the pleasure. Help?

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Mike Josypenko, on behalf of The Institute of Export in PE2.

Dear Ivan,

Firstly, I would not advise obtaining information simply to hold on file for future use. As you know, legislation around food can change quickly, and you would be better advised to obtain up-to-date information whenever you decide to start to enter a specific market.

In terms of where to obtain that information, the obvious starting point would be through internet research, but that is easier said than done. From my past experience, regulatory issues in the USA are generally clearly covered and available to view via agencies such as the US Food and Drug Adminstration. For markets such as Russia & Japan this is likely to be more problematic.

You could also contact UK Trade & Investment, the UK govenrment agency - start by visiting their website www.ukti.gov.uk, and be sure to register, in order to get access to market information ond other content on the food & drink sector pages. You might also approach them directly, initially via your local regional office (details on the website), and ask to speak to somebody with food & drink sector knowledge.

UKTI may also direct you to one of their team based in the British Embassies / Consulates in your target market with food & drink experience. They may be able to give you information on regulatory issues, although they may charge you a fee for this service.

Finally, I would definitely suggest approaching one of the trade associations active in the food & drink sector. Many trade associations (such as the Food & Drink Exporters Association) offer export advice, and work closely with UKTI to help UK companies to enter new overseas markets. As specialists in their particular sectors, they often have a more detailed understanding of regulatory issues & other matters specific to their sectors.

The Institute of Exports can also assist in raising awareness of exporting procedures, and offer a range of training and educational courses on all aspects of international trade.

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Dear Ivan,

I am replying from UK Trade & Investment Japan.

Regarding confectionary legislation for Japan, if you are looking for information on Japan's import regulations we would recommend that you visit the 'Reports and Statistics' page of the JETRO website (Japan External Trade Organisation), which may be found at http://www.jetro.go.jp/en/reports/ The 'Standards and Regulations' section may be of particular interest.

One thing to note for confectionary is that Japan's regulations for additives and colourings may be different to those in the UK and testing for these in Japan can be costly. However, it is possible to conduct the testing in the UK first and then ensure that you share evidence of this with the importer to Japan.

Further to Mike's reply above, we would also encourage you to visit the UKTI website (www.ukti.gov.uk) for wider information and export advice. There you will also find contact details for UKTI Japan should you have further questions specific to this market.

Best regards,
UKTI Japan

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Lauren Dickerson, on behalf of UK Trade & Investment USA in United States.

Hello Ivan,

I am responding from UKTI USA.

There is a lot of information available on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website. For Guidance, Compliance, and Regulatory Assistance please look on the following website: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/default.htm

For all companies exporting to the US, food facilities will have to be registered with the FDA as well as give prior notice before shipment.

Additionally, there have been some changes recently made to the FDA regulations, The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) which can be found here: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FSMA/default.htm

Hopefully this will answer all of your questions. If you have any further questions regarding the US please feel free to let us UKTI know.

Best,
UKTI USA

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Ivan Neve, on behalf of The Real Ice Co in TN17.

Thanks to everybody who responded - very useful indeed.

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