Regulatory Incoherence in Nutrition Labelling of Prepackaged Food in ASEAN: What Next?
28 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 1, 2018
Regulatory heterogeneity is identified as a challenge for increasing trade, harmonizing standards, and ultimately creating a single integrated Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market, which is a major objective of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). One diverse technical regulation that governs the food and beverage industry is nutrition labelling. In fact, variances in nutrition labelling have been identified as the most significant barrier for food trade in ASEAN. It pose difficulties to exporters as they have to pay multiple product adoption costs that are related to many national standards. Further, it is uncertain whether these costs are necessary as some of the more stringent/complex labelling guidelines in specific markets may be used solely as discriminatory non-tariff barriers. To inform the debate on the importance of regulatory convergence for nutritional labelling, the study assesses the implications of non-harmonised nutritional labelling on the industry through a firm-level survey of 26 food exporters in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia.
Keywords: nutrition labelling, prepackaged food, exporters, harmonisation, ASEAN
JEL Classification: F02, F13, F15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation