South Korea enforces mandatory warning labels and tightens rules for coffee and tea

South Korea enforces mandatory warning labels and tightens rules for coffee and tea

This was announced as part of the latest amendment to the Enforcement Regulations of the Act on Labeling and Advertisement of Food under Prime Minister Decree No. 1642, and will formally enter into force after December 31 2021.

“The packages of all liquid foods containing 0.15mg or more caffeine per ml will be required to display a warning label mentioning ‘high caffeine content’ as well as the phrase ‘Total Caffeine Content OOO mg’ (sic, OOO being the amount of caffeine present),”? said MFDS.

“This label must be located on the main display side of the product, which the consumer will usually see when browsing and making the purchase and where the product trademark or logo is printed.?

“The text ‘Children, pregnant women, and those who are sensitive to caffeine, please be cautious of intake’ must also be displayed on the product packaging.”?

In addition, once the total caffeine content is printed on the label, the range of actual caffeine content found in the product will not be allowed to vary by more than 10% from the number displayed.

This means that a product that declares 100mg per ml caffeine must contain not less than 90mg and not more than 110mg if tested in order to avoid any penalties.

“Coffees, teas or other liquid beverages made from coffee and tea ingredients [will be given slightly more leeway on the upper limit] and allowed to go up to 20% above the displayed caffeine content before being penalised,”? added MFDS.

These labelling rules will apply to both locally produced and imported products – importers would be expected to attach the relevant warning labels to any high caffeine imports on the main display side of the product.


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