STC Number - 513

Korea's mandatory HACCP certification for imported kimchi

Maintained by: Korea, Republic of
Raised by: China
Supported by:
First date raised: March 2021 G/SPS/R/101 paras. 3.18-3.19
Dates subsequently raised: July 2021 (G/SPS/R/102 paras. 4.76-4.77)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/KOR/702 G/SPS/N/KOR/702/Add.1 G/SPS/N/KOR/714
Products covered: Kimchi
Primary subject keyword: Food safety
Keywords: Food safety; HACCP Plan requirements
Status: Not reported
Solution:
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 2021, China raised its concern regarding Korea's mandatory Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification for imported kimchi. While appreciating Korea's fulfilment of its transparency obligations, China stated that the implementation of the measure would constitute a restriction for Chinese kimchi exports. China noted it had signed a cooperation agreement on November 2015 with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), which recognized the China-HACCP accreditation system. In addition, China indicated that most of its kimchi manufacturers had obtained China-HACCP certification, complying with the "Korea Kimchi Manufacture HACCP Management Standard Guideline" and the "Korea Kimchi Manufacture Prerequisite Management Standard". Notwithstanding, China noted that, under Korea's notification, manufacturers needed to obtain a Korean certification. China urged Korea to withdraw the measure designating kimchi as a product under mandatory HACCP application or recognize the equivalence of the Chinese food safety supervision system.

Korea appreciated China's cooperation in a recent bilateral meeting. As a traditional Korean food, Korea noted kimchi required strict safety controls in its manufacturing process. Korea indicated that it had adopted a mandatory HACCP certification for domestically manufactured kimchi and planned to apply the same measure to imported kimchi to ensure the same level of food safety. Korea highlighted its consultation meetings with China since 2019, which had been postponed due to technical difficulties and COVID-19. Korea expressed its willingness to further discuss with China on this matter.

In July 2021, China reiterated its concern regarding Korea's mandatory Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification for imported kimchi, the implementation of which would negatively impact Chinese kimchi exports. China noted that the Chinese National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) employed the standards and guidelines issued by the "International Accreditation Forum", of which Korea was a member. China considered the certification obtained by CNAS to be equivalent to the certification recognized by Korea. China urged Korea to recognize China's conformity assessment, adopt the list of companies recommended by China or recognize the certificate issued by China's certification bodies.

Korea appreciated China's bilateral cooperation. As a traditional Korean food, Korea noted kimchi required strict safety controls in its manufacturing process. Korea indicated that it had adopted a mandatory HACCP certification for domestically manufactured kimchi and planned to apply the same measure to imported kimchi to ensure the same level of food safety. In Korea's view, it was critical to have detailed measures for each step of the manufacturing process. Korea highlighted its consultation meetings with China since 2019, as well as a proposed pilot programme for Chinese kimchi manufacturers to enhance understanding of HACCP certification.