indonesia food regulation

Indonesia’s BPOM Issues New Food Labeling Regulations

  • InCorp Editorial Team
  • 24 August 2023
  • 5 minute reading time

The Indonesian economy is heavily driven by increased household consumption with the food and beverage industry greatly benefiting from this.

The country’s middle class has been a crucial driver of economic growth, with consumption rising at a pace of 12% per year since 2002, accounting for about half of the country’s total household consumption.

The shift in middle-income purchasing power is quite evident – the middle class now spends more on food items that were previously beyond their reach. Additionally, the globalization of local cuisine provides a great chance for foreign corporations to promote their products to Indonesian customers, who are becoming increasingly receptive to new tastes and sensations.

Despite the pandemic, the food and beverage sector clocked USD 2.5 billion in investment in the first half of 2021 — USD 1 billion in domestic investment (PMDN) and USD 1.5 billion in international investment (PMA).

Indonesia Food Regulation: New Policies on Food Labeling Process

The Indonesian government requires all food and beverage items in retail packaging, as well as food additives, to receive distribution permits from The National Agency for Drug and Food Control (BPOM) before accessing the retail market.

BPOM will issue an ML (Makanan Luar) number for imported items and an MD (Makanan Dalam) number for locally manufactured products that fulfill the appropriate distribution parameters.

Indonesia’s food safety management system includes a variety of pre-market and post-market checks. Pre-market controls involve examining a product’s food safety to verify that it complies with all safety, quality, nutrition, and labeling regulations before it is sold.

A product is permitted for distribution and given a registration approval number if it passes the appropriate conditions. After items have been disseminated in the market and/or retail outlets, post-market controls such as on-site retail sampling are done. Because of the vast region of coverage and the sheer geographic character of Indonesia, BPOM places a larger focus on pre-market control.

Latest Changes in Indonesia Food Regulation Regarding Labeling Process

BPOM has issued a regulation amending the country’s food labeling regulations by implementing additional restrictions and providing clarity on food labeling requirements. This not only applies to finished food products but also to food additives and food products for further processing.

Regulation No. 20 of 2021 (an amendment to Regulation No. 31 of 2018) contains the amendments, which went into force on August 2, 2021.

The newest regulation has added certain additional criteria, which are explained below.

Final Food Products

  • Non-halal foods. Food products containing non-halal components are now excluded from halal certification procedures.
  • Ingredient percentages. Percentages of ingredient content must be included in the list of ingredients on a food label. The same stands true for any ingredients that are emphasized on the label in words or pictures or stated as part of the food name.
  • Polyol warning. Labels for food products containing polyol must now include a warning about its side effects (if any).
  • Allergen information. It was mandatory for allergens to be mentioned in bold in the list of ingredients, along with the disclaimer “contains allergens”, with the list of ingredients written in bold. Now, the new legislation permits allergy information to be mentioned on the label by using the term “contains allergens:” followed by the allergen name(s) typed in bold.
  • Comparison claims. Food labels that use keywords like “special,” “premium,” “gold,” “platinum,” “extra,” “plus (+)”, “advanced,” or similar words to compare the quality or nutritional content of one product to another must include an asterisk (*) after the comparison claim.

The deadline for finished food items to comply with the amendments is December 31, 2021, while the deadline for food additives and food products for further processing is August 2, 2022.

Food Products for Further Processing

The new legislation requires food goods meant for further processing must be labeled with disclaimers such as “Not for Retail Sale,” “Not for Repackaging,” “Only for Hotels, Restaurants, and Catering,” etc. However, this is not applicable if the food product is sold directly from the manufacturer to the company operator who will further process it, or if the food product’s distributor is chosen directly by the manufacturer or importer.

Food Additives

According to Indonesia food regulation, food additive labels for retail sales must identify the maximum quantity of an ingredient permitted in a food product. If the food additive contains processing aids, they must also be included in the ingredient list.

Label Assessment

The new law also gives explicit guidelines for evaluating food labels that may include unrelated information.

Break into the Indonesian Market with InCorp

While entering the Indonesian market, you should be aware of the procedures and bureaucratic requirements. As an Importer of Record, InCorp could offer end-to-end import services for a wide variety of items, from medical equipment to cosmetics and food and beverage.

InCorp registers your company with the least amount of fuss while you focus on the main business aspects. Our consultants can assist you in obtaining the appropriate product registration as well as business and import licenses, and other documents like halal certification. With our accounting and tax reporting services, we also give competent guidance and ensure you stay on top of all legal compliance

Pandu Biasramadhan

Senior Consulting Manager at InCorp Indonesia

An expert for more than 10 years, Pandu Biasramadhan, has an extensive background in providing top-quality and comprehensive business solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managing regional partnership channels across Southeast Asia.

Get in touch with us.

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Disclaimer: The information is provided by PT. Cekindo Business International (“InCorp Indonesia/ we”) for general purpose only and we make no representations or warranties of any kind.

We do not act as an authorized government or non-government provider for official documents and services, which is issued by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia or its appointed officials.

We do not promote any official government document or services of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, including but not limited to, business identifiers, health and welfare assistance programs and benefits, unclaimed tax rebate, electronic travel visa and authorization, passports in this website.

Frequent Asked Questions

You can transfer the license as long as your current local distributor agrees to change the product license holder. The procedure will be different for each product category. We can only recommend you try to prevent these issues by setting cooperation with a trustworthy partner from the beginning

There are plenty of products, but the most common products include food, beverages, traditional medicines, health supplements, cosmetics, chemical products, genetically engineered products, medical devices and household appliances.

According to Indonesian Law No. 6 Year 2023, halal certification is valid if there's no change in the ingredient or process.

Before you can distribute your products in Indonesia, you will have to register your product with the BPOM (National Agency of Food and Drugs) and MoH (Ministry of Health). Only an Indonesian legal entity can register the product. If you decide to distribute your product via a local distributor, they will register the product under their entity in Indonesia and become the product license holder. Cekindo can act as your local distributor and register the product under its name.

The registration process may take between 4 to 8 months. However, the process is affected by many factors