This time, let’s take a look at how to register an FDA, to import food products into Thailand.
To import food products into Thailand, you will need to have a registration certificate from Thailand FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Not all edible food products are allowed to be imported.
Without an import permit being issued based on the Food Law of Thailand, we cannot import the food product to Thailand, even if this food product is eaten in Japan or other foreign countries.
Our company has experience with import customs clearance for fresh fish, vegetable, fruits, processed food, beverage and alcohol and each product is registered with the FDA.
This example is based on our company’s FDA registration experience.
Please note that depending on the FDA registration officer, you may be asked to submit different documents.
The most important thing to note is that it is time consuming, if you are going to make all the FDA registration arrangements.
It is also time consuming to visit the FDA location, and to maintain the relationship with the FDA registration officer.
It is quicker and is stress free to request an agency, who is experienced with FDA application to complete the registration on your behalf.
This will allow you to focus on the main purpose of importing food products, the promotional activity and sales.
There are a variety of types of food products. Some of these products contain ingredients which are prohibited in Thailand, such as products for babies and infants.
To control food product distribution management safely, each product has a specific document required to register with the FDA.
If you have a good relationship with the FDA registration officer, they may not require additional documents.
Now, let’s take a look at the essential processes required by the FDA to allow you to import food products into Thailand.
1. Obtain a cargo import license
2. Obtain a food import license
3. Register the category on the FDA
4. Register the product on the FDA
Let’s take a look at each process.
These basic rules must be followed when you intend to import cargo into Thailand.
You require an import license. You need to register as a business- not individual.
If your company has never imported before, you need to obtain an import license, or ask an import agency to import on your behalf.
A cargo import license does not allow you to import food or any products. You need a specific license to import food products as well.
To register for the license, you will need the following;
• Company Registration (within 6 months)
• Passport of the representative
• List of the company shareholders
• Work permit
• Documents to prove the registered residence
• Map or drawing of the warehouse where the imported cargo will be stored
• Permit to use the warehouse
• Map of the surrounding area of the food management storage
• Company stamp
It takes about 2 weeks for the application to complete once all the documents are submitted.
To apply for an FDA, you need to prepare the warehouse to store food products. Even if you are importing directly to the delivery address, you are required to provide the warehouse information to register.
Depending on the type of the food products, you may be required to have a cold storage warehouse. If do not operate a large scale of the business, warehouse requirements may become a hurdle.
Our company has experience to facilitate such concerns, so please feel free to ask for advice.
Once you have obtained a food import license, you will need to apply for specific categories, depending on the product you intend to import.
If you can inform us of the product category such as vegetable, fruits, meat, beverage, processed food etc, we will let you know which category you need to register with.
For example, if you are registering under the “processed food” category, you can import the following food products;
• Packed miso soup
• Tinned mackerel
• Jar of olives
You cannot import the following food products;
No documents are required for this category. It takes about a week until completion of the application.
Once you register the category, you finally need to register which product you will be importing. Depending on the product category, you will need to prepare specific documents.
For example, for processed food, the following documents will be required.
1. Name of the product
2. Picture of the product
3. Label of the product
4. GMP, HACCP, ISO
5. Certificate of Analysis
6. Manufacturing process
7. Sample of the product
Normally, these documents are required, however, depending on the registration officer, you may be required to submit different documents.
Application will take about 1-2 weeks to complete once all documents are submitted.
I have experience of processing many food products of FDA registrations. From my experience, I can tell you that unless you are used to registering Thailand FDA, it takes a quite bit of work.
Suddenly, the registration officer requests the additional documents one after another. We always request our customer to understand this is Thai FDA registration.
In Thailand, Japanese food is very popular and there are many companies expanding their businesses to include Thailand.
If you would like to know who and how these businesses ask for help with Thailand FDA registration, please feel free to contact us.