15 May 2013

Indonesian Law No. 7 of 1996 concerning Food (“Law No. 7/1996”) has been replaced by Law No. 18 of 2012 concerning Food (“Law No. 18/2012”). This new food law was issued on 16 November 2012 and has been in force since17 November 2012.

Food Law 2012 contains provisions under 12 headings that range from food planning to food investigation, as follows:


1. Food Planning;
2. Food Availability;
3. Food Accessibility;
4. Food Consumption and Nutrients;
5. Food Security;
6. Food Labeling and Advertising;
7. Supervision;
8. Food Information System;
9. Research and Development of Food;
10. Food Institutional;
11. Public Participation; and
12. Investigation


The central and regional governments are responsible for establishing a national food plan which aims at achieving food sovereignty, food independence and food supply endurance. The central and regional governments are also responsible to ensure the affordability of food for the community, for each household and for each individual in the country.


A government institution will be established and put in charge of food matters. This institution will work under and report to the President of the Republic of Indonesia and may propose to the President the assignment of certain state-owned enterprises (Badan Usaha Milik Negara or “BUMN”) in the field of food to conduct production, procurement, storage, and/or distribution of primary and other foods.   This food institution must have been established at the latest three years as of the enactment of this law. Until it is established, all the governmental institutions currently handling food matters will remain in charge.


Among the provisions pertaining to food safety are the following:

  • That the central and regional governments must stipulate the norms, standards, procedures and criteria for food safety, and must supervise their implementation;
  • That for the food safety implementation purposes and in order to protect consumers, rules and regulations are to be established on food sanitation, food labeling, food packaging, quality control, etc.;
  • That the government has the obligation to examine and supervise the use of additional ingredients on food in order to know their impact on human health; this is to be correlated with the issuance of food distribution licenses.
  • That all genetically engineered food products require a food safety clearance before their distribution.
  • That consumers have a right to obtain clear information on the food they intend to purchase. This entails in the prohibition from giving a misleading statement in food product advertisement, and the obligation to give clear and correct information to consumers on the food packaging.


Law No. 18/2012 also provides sanctions for non-compliance with the regulations, both administrative and criminal. (by: Cahya Buana Arief).