ARISE Plus continues to extend its support to ASEAN is addressing food safety issues to further facilitate the removal of technical barriers to trade in food products. The ASEAN Food Safety Regulatory Framework (AFSRF) was adopted by ASEAN Member States (AMS) in 2016 reflecting commitment towards enabling the free flow of safe food products in the region. The development of these standards is a part of the initiatives that have been taken to meet the objectives set.
Most recently, the ARISE Plus project in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) successfully organized two consecutive workshops in Koh Samui Thailand. The Workshops on ASEAN Standard for Food Additives was held on the 29 January 2018 and the Workshop on ASEAN General Guidelines on Food Contact Materials was held from the 30- 31 January 2018.
Discussions held during the one-day workshop on ASEAN Standards for Food Additives covered aspects such as scope and definitions, functional classes and general principals, carry-over of food additives from raw material and food category systems, mechanisms to establish and maintain list of permitted additives and maximum levels.
Discussions during day one of the workshop on the ASEAN General Guidelines on Food Contact Materials were focussed on method of implementation of the guidelines by AMS, general principals and requirements, specific measures for groups of FCM. Discussions held during day two concentrated on labelling and compliance declaration, implementation in individual member states and collectively by ASEAN and on inspections and control measures. Recommendations on implementations of the standards by Member States were discussed at the end of the 2- day workshop.
The outputs of these workshops have led to the finalisation of the 2 ASEAN standards. This will in turn further facilitate improved coordination among the food safety regulators in ASEAN and enable the implementation of harmonised technical requirements in each AMS and will contribute towards ensuring harmonised food safety levels across AMS and reduce trade barriers in food products in the ASEAN region.