In areas such as health claims and formulation, Codex Alimentarius, the World Health Organization’s food regulation body, could provide a valuable guide.
EAS Asia’s regional director, Daniel Tsi, said until regulatory harmony could be achieved, it was vital companies stayed abreast of the minutiae of often highly complex rules.
“It is important that regulatory, scientific, marketing and senior management staff are clear on the different health supplement regulations,” said Dr Tsi.
“The Codex recommendations on the scientific substantiation of health claims, for example, will be the reference point for developing regulatory requirements of claims substantiation in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.
However, in the area of claims some countries have more restrictive existing regulations than others. The existing and future regulations must be taken into account in order to minimise risk of product failure.”
How food supplements would be affected by harmonisation procedures was discussed, with the potential for greater market access across ten ASEAN countries highlighted.
“It is essential to ensure that the company’s strategy is focused on addressing the emerging requirements with good scientific and technical support,” said regional regulatory affairs manager, Wai Mun Poon.
EAS has produced guides to those operating in Asia with a focus on China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Brunei.