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Japan Regulations for Fish and Fishery Products

For more information on the general requirements for imports of Bivalve Molluscs, click HERE

General requirements for imports

Handbook for Agricultural and Fishery Products Import Regulations 2009: providing guidance about import examination and inspection for fishery products.

Food Sanitation Act: providing guidance about general import and inspection principles in Chapters I and VII.
- Chapter I General Provisions; 
- Chapter VII Inspections.

In addition, this Act provides guidance about the import procedures, the obligation for importers to submit the import notification, the procedures of import notification of foods and related products. The Act specifies the regulatory requirements for importing fishery products into Japan for commercial purposes as food for direct human consumption.

Procedures and import requirements are available at the following link:

Additives, contaminants, antimicrobials and residues

Food Sanitation Act: providing guidance about additives that are permitted to be added to food sold in Japan, their standards and their maximum limits.  Specific information can be found in its Chapters II and V.

Chapter II - Food and Additives; and 

Chapter V - Japanese Standards of Food Additives.

Specifications and Standards for Foods, Food Additives, etc. Under the Food Sanitation Act, 2010 April 2011: providing additional information about additives that are permitted to be added to food, their maximum limits and standards. The list of Additives with standards of use is in its Table FA02 and the list of additives with no standards of use is in its Table FA03.

Table FA02 - Food Additives with Standards of Use; and

Table FA03 - Food Additives with No Standards of Use.

Guidelines for Application for Establishment and Revision of Maximum Residue Limits for Agricultural Chemicals used outside Japan: providing guidance about the procedures required to apply for the establishment and revision of maximum residue limits (MRLs) for agricultural chemicals in foods. The document establishes the MRLs for: pesticides and veterinary drugs.

It is available at the following link:

Microbiological and organic criteria

Handbook for Agricultural and Fishery Products Import Regulations 2009: providing microbiological criteria for fishery products.


Guidelines on Hygiene Control of Import Processed Foods, Annex to Notice Shoku-an No. 0605001 of June 5th, 2008: providing guidance about hygiene control for import processed food and for establishing a system of responsibility for recall, specific measures of recall, and procedures of reporting to the relevant administrative organs, which allow importers to recall specific products.

It is available at the following link:

Law of Special Measures for Strengthening Conservation and Management of Tuna Resources: to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing and uncontrolled importation of their catch, this law controls the trade of tunas caught by IUU and reflagged fishing vessels.

Furthermore, the Organization for the Promotion of Responsible Tuna Fisheries (OPRT) is an initiative taken by the tuna industries to combat IUU fishing and to promote sustainable utilization of tunas. This organization follows the regulatory measures of the Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO), providing guidance about: the reduction of total allowable catch of tuna, the Catch Documentation System (CDS) for Bluefin tunas, the number of operating vessels for tuna and swordfish.

The relevant regulatory measures can be found at the websites of:

- ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas);
- IOTC (Indian Ocean Tuna Commission);
IATTC (Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission);
- WCPFC (Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission); and
- CCSBT (Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna).

They are available at the following link:

Labelling and packaging

Food Sanitation Act:  the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) provides the necessary criteria for the labelling of food in  Chapter IV of this Act.

Chapter IV - Labelling and Advertising. 

How do we find the last consolidated version of the Regulations?


Last update: 30/11/2018

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