Food laws and regulations

International level

Agreement on the application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO)

The WTO agreement on the application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures is the most important point of reference for international trade in food. It can be seen as the framework to which the food laws and regulations of the WTO member countries should conform.

Codex Alimentarius Standards (Codex)

The Codex Alimentarius provides a collection of product standards and general standards negotiated by its member countries. Many countries use Codex standards as a reference in drafting national legislation. The WTO dispute settlement body will also reference the Codex Alimentarius standards.

National level general resources

Food and Agriculture Organization Legislative and Policy Database (FAOLEX)

This is a database of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). FAOLEX provides the most important legislation of FAO member countries on a variety of topics. Some of the legislation is presented in its original language and/or in English translation. The information in FAOLEX is not always up to date.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

The Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture provides reports on countries that sets out their legislation on food and agriculture in general or on specific topics. The main purpose of these reports is to support businesses in the USA that aim to export to these countries. The reports cover most countries of the world and are usually of high quality.

For general access see
For the search form see

European Union (EU) Health and Food Audits and Analysis (HFAA)

The former Food and Veterinary Office (now HFAA) of the European Commission audits EU Member States and third countries wishing to export to the EU for compliance with EU legal requirements for food. On its website HFAA publishes country profiles of EU Member States and audit reports. Audit reports cover EU Member States as well as third countries. Often audit reports start with an overview of the relevant legislation in the country at issue.

National level resources of specific countries


Coming soon!

America, Latin

Coming soon!

America, North

Coming soon!


People’s republic of China

The State Council of the People's Republic of China
The Chinese government provides some English translations of its legislation on its website.

China Law Translate
China Law Translate provides, as the name suggests, translations of Chinese legislation. It appears not to be (always) accessible from China.

Peking University
The Peking University Center for Legal Information provides an excellent database of English language translations of Chinese laws and regulations and other sources of law and legal information, some on food.

The United States Department of Agriculture provides Foreign Agricultural Service to exporters in the USA. It provides reports on trends, policies, regulatory requirements and translations of legislation and standards.
For general access see
For the search form see

Furthermore, there are some commercial parties providing translations:

ChemLinked Food Portal

ChemLinked is a portal related to Reach24H

China Food Law blog

Chinese Standards Shop
The Chinese Standards Shop provides Chinese standards, some on food, some (partly) in English.

Chemical Inspection and Regulation Service (CIRS)

Global Foodmate

HFG Law and Intellectual property, a Chinese Law firm in Shanghai and Beijing. On its website, it provides translation of several pieces of Chinese legislation, including some on food.
See in general
See in particular

Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS)

RJS MedTech


European Union (EU)

Twenty seven European countries are Member States of the European Union. In all these countries EU (food) law applies. In addition, national (food) law applies within the EU Member States (see below).

The EU provides an online database, EUR-Lex, of all its official documents including legislation. Many documents are available in all official languages of the EU.

On its website, the European Commission (EC) provides an overview of its policies and legislation on food safety.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a Member State of the EU. Therefore, EU food law applies in the Netherlands. The Netherlands provides a database of all its national legislation in the Dutch language.

The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit; NVWA) provides information on food safety policy and legislation, some of which is in the English language.


Coming soon!