Regulatory Incoherence in Nutrition Labelling of Pre-packaged Food in ASEAN: What Next?
To inform the debate on the importance of regulatory convergence for nutritional labelling, the chapter assesses the trade-related concerns of a non-harmonized nutritional labelling on the industry through a firm-level survey of food exporters in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. The information solicited through the survey centres on the complexity of six core elements of nutrition labelling, and the business (financial) compliance costs incurred by exporters. For the latter, the study adopted a comprehensive approach to most aspects of compliance costs, which include administrative costs; testing costs; re-labelling costs; networking costs; transportation costs and inventory costs. The chapter then forwards recommendations for selective intervention by the ASEAN member states, which is to move ahead with the harmonization of mandatory guidelines and streamlining of voluntary measures within the region through a three-stage approach.
This study was funded by the Food Industry Asia (Singapore) and the ASEAN Food and Beverage Alliance (AFBA). A comprehensive version of this study entitled “Nutrition Labelling on Prepackaged Food: Impact on Trade in ASEAN” has been published as a Technical Report by AFBA on 28 February 2018 (see http://afba.co/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Nutrition-Labelling-on-Prepackaged-Food-Impact-on-Trade-in-ASEAN.pdf).
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