Israel, which is a signatory to the WTO Agreement, maintains relatively few restrictions on agricultural imports.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
Required Report - public distribution
GAIN Report Number: IS1106
Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards -
FAIRS Country Report - Annual
Regional Agricultural Attaché
U.S. Embassy, Cairo
Agricultural Marketing Specialist
In the current report the following sections have been updated:
Heavy Metals in Foodstuffs - The Israeli Ministry of Health has increased monitoring
on imported food products in recent months.
The maximum limits of the following food color additives E1520, E1518, and E1505
Import Procedure paragraph was modified.
New requirements for the export of pet food from the United States to Israel.
Inspection of Animal Feed paragraph was modified.
Fish and Fish Products Import and Distribution system.
Section I. Food Laws:
General Food Import Considerations
Israeli importers face two main considerations when selecting a particular product - quality and
price. In the price range, American products are not always attractive, due to the high production
costs in the U.S., and high transportation costs to Israel, relative to suppliers from near-by Europe
and the Mediterranean basin. Transport costs from the United States are about the same as
transportation costs from the Far East. From Europe, the costs are significantly lower, not to
mention even closer countries such as Turkey, which competes with the United States for imports
of dried fruit and nuts into Israel. The problem of transportation costs is less crucial when dealing
with expensive products and materials, or with products with very high value-to-volume ratios
such as spices, essences, flavorings, concentrates etc. The problem is also partially resolved when
dealing with products that are eligible for tariff preferences as imports from the United States.
This partially compensates for the high transport costs. US goods enjoy a 10-22 percent tariff
advantage over European and third-world country suppliers on a broad range of processed and
Another subject to be considered is the issue of ?kashrut?. Kosher certification is not a legal
requirement for importing food into Israel. However, non-kosher products have a much smaller
market, as most supermarkets and hotels refuse to carry them. Manufacturers who produce
kosher products must be able to satisfy Israeli rabbinical supervisors that all ingredients and
processes are kosher. According to the Law for Prevention of Fraud in Kashrut, only the Chief
Rabbinate of Israel is authorized to determine and approve a product as kosher for consumption in
Israel, or may authorize another supervisory body to act in its name. Here too United States
products have an advantage as the kashrut certification issued by many American rabbis is
recognized by Israel?s Chief Rabbinate. It is, however, quite simple for Israeli importers to send an
Israeli rabbi to any supply source, thereby reducing the American advantage. In recent years,
opportunity for non-kosher foods has been increasing as immigrants from the Former Soviet Union
(FSU) now account for a significant share of purchasing power (15 percent).
Israel, which is a signatory to the WTO Agreement, maintains relatively few restrictions on
agricultural imports. However, U.S. meat exports face an especially difficult environment due to
the enactment at the end of 1994 of a ban on all non-kosher meat and poultry imports except
offal?s. The United States - Israel FTA of 1985 allows both countries the use of non-tariff
restrictions or prohibitions on products from agricultural sub sectors, which are subject to
agricultural policy considerations. The recent WTO accords do not. Instead WTO rules call for
tariffication of administrative and technical barriers. Israel has removed most
administrative barriers to United States imports but has retained high levies on sensitive products
and imposes various constraints and barriers, for example, those pertaining to kosher certification,
for meat and poultry.
The only other product prohibitions are targeted against internationally controlled substances
and/or are designed to protect public morals, human, animal or plant health, or national security.
Section II. Labeling Requirements:
Labeling and Marking Requirements
Israel has strict marking and labeling requirements, which frequently differ from those of other
countries. It is recommended that United States exporters consult with their Israeli importer prior
All imports into Israel must have a label indicating the country of origin, the name and address of
the producer, the name and address of the Israeli importer, the contents, and the weight and
volume in metric units. In all instances, Hebrew must be used;
English may be added provided the printed letters are no larger than those in Hebrew. Nutritional
labeling is compulsory on all packaged foods. Specific information on weights and measures
standards is available from the Commissioner of Standards, Ministry of Industry and Trade, 30
Agron Street, Jerusalem 94190. As of September 1, 1998 weights and measures have become
voluntary and no longer serve as a barrier to entry of foods packaged in avoirdupois units.
However, where packaging is non- standard, the package must indicate the unit price of the
Marking should be done by printing, engraving, stamping, or any other means, on the package on
the goods themselves. If marking is not possible, a label should be well sewn or stuck to the goods
or package. Marking details should be clear, legible, easy to trace, and in a different color from the
background in order to be clearly distinguishable. Printing dyes and other marking materials should
not affect merchandise quality. The marking should not be blurred.
On a multi-layered package, the external layer should be marked. If the external layer is
transparent, the marking should be done underneath that layer, provided it is still clear and
legible. On a package containing sub packages, the labeling should specify: the
number of sub packages, the net content of a sub package, and the overall net weight of the
package. For products that tend to lose weight under regular marketing/commercial conditions,
the maximum quantity of expected depletion should be mentioned.
Specific labeling regulations apply to some consumer goods, as well as fertilizers, insecticides,
chemicals, pharmaceuticals, some food products, seeds, and alcoholic beverages. In addition,
special packaging requirements apply to fruit, plants and meat.
Outside and inside containers of dangerous articles, such as poisons, insecticides, drugs, reptiles,
insects, bacteria should be clearly marked. For information on food labeling and packaging contact:
Israel Ministry of Health, Food Control Administration,
12-14 Ha?Arba?a St., Tel Aviv 64739; Telephone: 972-3-6270100; Fax: 972-3-5619549.
Labeling of pre-packaged food: Description of content: This 7th amendment to the Mandatory
Standard SI 1145 deals with the normative references, with the marking of food ingredients and
with the food description when labeling pre-packaged food.
A copy of the proposed draft amendments is available at the FAS post in Tel Aviv:
Application of the Labeling Standard
The Standard sets requirements for labeling prepackaged food intended for retail sale, excluding
unprocessed fruits and vegetables.
It also sets the labeling requirements for prepackaged foods listed below, not intended for retail
food for industrial processing and for repackaging;
-food in wholesale packaging;
-prepackaged food containing packaged sub units.
Where there is a contradiction between the requirements of Standard 1118 for prepackaged foods
and the labeling requirements of the Special Standard which applies to a particular food or the
labeling requirements in a Group Standard which applies to a
particular group of foods, the requirements of the special Standard or of the group Standard shall
All labels shall be accurate and not misleading and shall be capable of proof. The label of the
product shall not give indication of medicinal properties attributed to the food nor shall it state that
the product?s use is likely to heal or prevent illness. However, see the section on nutritional
labeling in Section F for special references to certain types of food.
Mandatory labeling information must be in Hebrew: such writing may be repeated in a foreign
language provided that it includes all the required information and that it is identical in content to
The size of the Hebrew letters and numbers on the label must be at least as large as indicated in
Table 1 below. The size of the letters in the other language must not be larger than the size of the
Hebrew letters. The size of the letters of the trade name shall
not be larger than three times the size of the letters of the name of the food.
Food, which can be marketed in a number of forms, which are of significance to the consumer,
shall be appropriately labeled: whole, sliced, crushed, segments, cubes, etc. The size of the letters
of this labeling shall be at least half the size of that of the letters
in the name of the product.
The Name of the Food
The label shall include the name of the food. If there are several words in the name of the food, all
these words shall be written in the same size and with the same emphasis.
If there is a special Standard for the product, the name of the food shall be that name which
appears in the special Standard. In addition to the name of the food, it is permissible to also add a
trade name. The size of Hebrew lettering required on labels,
see Annex 6.
The Name of the Manufacturer, Importer, Marketer, and Packer
The label shall include a clear indication of the name of the manufacturer and his address.
Alternatively, instead of indicating his name, the manufacturer may indicate in addition to his
address, his registered trademark for the product, which he produces, on condition that the
trademark includes letters and does not mislead concerning the nature of the product.
The labeling of an imported product, which is marketed in its original package, shall also include
the name of the importer and his address.
It is permitted to indicate on the food the name and address of some other person instead of the
name and address of the manufacturer of the food if that other person has taken all the necessary
measures to ensure compliance with all the regulations relating to manufacture of the food,
including constant control of the production, packaging, weighing, labeling, marketing, transport,
and storage of the product. If the name of a person other than the manufacturer is indicated, the
name of the manufacturer shall be noted in code.
Imported food shall be labeled with the name of the producer country. It is permitted not to
indicate the producer country of imported products, which are used in the manufacture of food in
Israel. For purposes of this paragraph, if only the packaging is changed, it will not be considered as
Labeling shall include the net content of the food in the package, by weight or by volume.
The content of liquid food shall be indicated in units of volume:
- Milliliters (ml) for a product containing less than 1000 ml;
- Liters for a product containing 1000 ml or more.
The content of solid, semi-solid, or viscous food shall be designated by weight:
- grams (gr.) for a product containing less than 1000 grams;
- kilograms (kg) for a product containing 1000 grams or more.
The net content of a product packed in aerosol containers shall be marked in units of weight when
the product is in a semi-solid or powdered state or marked in units of volume when the product is
It is prohibited to add alongside the units of volume or weight any adjective, which is likely to be
The content of food packed in liquid shall be indicated in units of weight and will state the content
after draining as well as the net weight. When indicating the content after draining, the words
?weight after draining...? shall be included.
On the composite package the number of units inside shall be marked as well as the net content of
each packaged unit and the total net content.
For a product, which is liable to lose weight in regular commercial or marketing conditions due to
storage or display for sale, the expected lesser content shall be indicated.
New Requirements Regarding Labeling of Package Content
The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor (MOITAL) published new requirements regarding labeling
when the package weight of food and non?food product is reduced. Specifically, these
requirements apply to products that were already sold in a defined, already known size, and the
manufacturers or the sellers intended to reduce the weight or the content of the product in the
package in order to remain competitive in the market. The new requirements were published after
it was found that manufacturers and/or sellers were reducing the weight/content of the packages,
but not changing the labeling of the package to reflect the new size.
According to the new requirements, the labeling on the package must be changed, mentioning
clearly the new quantity. In addition, a special notification should be added:
?The package contains ??% less than the regular package?. The size of the letters of the
notification on the package should be the same as the product?s name letters. It is the
manufacturers? or importers? obligation to inform the retailers and the buyers about the change in
the size of the packages.
If the notification on the package is unclear, it is the supplier?s obligation to supply the retailers
with appropriate signs to be put on shelves. The manufacturer or the importer must also inform
the customers about the change by advertising in the national media.
Ingredients and Food Additives
The contents shall be indicated for all ingredients, including water in descending order according to
their relative weight in the food except for the following foods:
For dry food, which is to be reconstituted by the addition of water, it is permissible to indicate the
ingredients in descending order of their relative content in the reconstituted product if the words
?ingredients after reconstitution? are included.
If one of the ingredients is food to which an Israeli Standard applies, the name of the food shall be
indicated in the list of ingredients as required in the applicable Standard and its ingredients shall
not be listed. However, if coloring and preservatives
have been added to the above food their presence shall be indicated in the list of ingredients of the
A food product to which no Israel Standard applies shall be labeled with the percent of an
ingredient that significantly affects the price of the product, if so required by the authorities.
The date of manufacture or alternatively identification of the production lot as well as the last date
for marketing shall be marked as indicated below:
Products whose shelf life is up to 60 days from the date of manufacture:
The date of manufacture shall be marked openly or in code (day and month or else day, month,
and year). The last date for marketing shall be marked openly (day and month or else day, month
Products whose shelf life is between 60-365 days from the date of manufacture:
The date of manufacture shall be marked openly or in code (day, month, and year). The last date
for marketing shall be marked openly (day, month and year or month and year) if the date of
manufacture is indicated in code. It is not required to indicate the
last date for marketing if the date of manufacture is marked openly.
Products whose shelf life is longer than a year:
Either the date or the code (day, month and year) of the date of manufacture shall be indicated. It
is not required to indicate the last date for marketing.
The manufacturer shall determine the shelf life of the product and shall mark the dates
accordingly. The length of the shelf life shall be determined in accordance with the nature of the
product, the form of its packaging, and the recommended storage conditions assigning the product
to one of the three groups of products according to the nature of the explicit marking of the date.
The manufacturing date indicated on the product is not to be changed except in the case where a
mistake has been made in the marking and the product has still not left the plant for market.
Instructions for Storage, Transport, and Use
Instructions for storage, transport and use shall be included in the label when:
-the food has been cooled to a temperature of less than +8 degrees Centigrade or has
-there are special instructions for handling either before or after the package is opened;
-when the nature of the product demands it, for example the words ?keep in a dry place?, ?keep in
a cool place?, ?keep in the shade?, ?do not refreeze after thawing? etc.
Choking Warning Labeling Required
On 18 September 2006 new regulations regarding choking warning labeling were announced by
the Food Control Service with the Ministry of Health. The new regulations came into effect on 18
March, 2007 (see GAIN Report IS7007).
The regulations state that a warning must be marked in both Hebrew and Arabic on the following
products intended for retail sale: nuts and seeds, with or without shells, popcorn, dried corn
kernels for popcorn, spreads containing fragments of shelled nuts and
sausages. When these foodstuffs are sold by weight (not pre-packaged), the warning must be
prominently and visibly displayed on an adhesive label attached to the packaging or alternatively
printed on the packaging itself.
The warning must also be included in advertisements for the aforementioned foodstuffs.
Labeling Prepackaged Food, Which Is Not Intended For Retail Sale
Food used in industrial manufacture (including repackaging): the following items shall be marked
on the package of food used in industrial manufacture:
-the name of the food;
-labeling which identifies the lot.
If required by the responsible authority, the manufacturer shall present the specifications of the
Despite what is stated above, the language of the labeling of food to be used in industrial
production (including repackaging) may be not in Hebrew but rather in one of the following
languages: English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian instead of Hebrew.
Food in a Wholesale Package
The following items shall be marked on wholesale packages:
-the name of the food
-the name and address of the manufacturer as specified
-ingredients as specified
-the date as specified
Prepackaged food, which contains several packed units
The following items shall be marked on the package:
-the name of the food
-labeling which identifies the lot.
-number and size of retail units in the large package.
(1) No person shall produce or market a food which contains any sweetener unless the sweetener
is listed in column A of the Fifth Appendix below, the food is low calorie, and the amount of
sweetener in it is not greater than the amount indicated beside
each sweetener in column C.
(2) No person shall produce a sweetener, a non-high-intensity sweetening substance or food,
which contains such substances unless ?
(a) (a) the sweetener meets the requirements for purity and quality as indicated alongside it in
column B of the Second Appendix;
(b) (b) the non-high-intensity sweetening substance meets the requirement for purity and quality
as indicated alongside it in column B of Fourth Appendix.
(C) (c) if the product is a personal (tabletop) sweetener - it does not contain any food additive
other than those listed in the Fifth Appendix;
Personal (Tabletop) Sweeteners
No person shall produce or market any personal (tabletop) sweetener unless it meets the following
(a) it is in its pure form or in a mixture with carbohydrates or food additives;
(b) it is packed in a packet weighing one gram (henceforth - packet) or in a container whose net
weight is not more than 200 gr.;
A. if it is in the form of a solution or powder - attached to its packaging there will be some
implement for measuring the sweetener with a capacity equal to 5 gr. of sucrose.
Section III. Packaging and Container Regulations:
Section IV. Food Additives Regulations:
The food additive regulations are based on "The Public Health Regulations (Food)
(Food Additives) 1997. A new full list of approved food additives was published by the Food Control
Service (FCS) in 2010.
The basic ingredients and the additives must be marked with either their group or specific names
except when the responsible authority has required that the specific name either of the basic
ingredient or of the additive be used or when it has required some other identifying label
concerning either the basic ingredients or the additives.
The group names for the basic ingredients and the additives shall be as follows:
-animal fats and oils
-vegetable fats and oils (if the fat is hardened, it shall be so stated)
-starches (except for modified starches)
-anti foaming agents - anti caking agents
-anti oxidants -bleaching agents
-food colorings -emulsifiers
-flavor and odor additives -ripening agents
-thickeners (including modified starches) -acidifiers
-gelling agents -whipping agents
-clarifying agents -leavening agents
-flavor enhancers -enzymes
-non-nutrient sweeteners -solvent residues
Food Additives Importation Guidance
In order to get a permit for the import food additives to Israel, the following documentation is
required, in accordance with the Food Additive Regulation from 5/18/97:
1. Confirmation submitted by an approved authority that the production plant is under inspection.
2. Free Sale Certificate, submitted by an approved authority.
3. A Confirmation that the manufacturer is producing under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
Confirmation will be
accepted only if submitted by an approved authority, or by an independent body that was
approved by the Israeli Food Control
Service (FCS) to submit GMP certificates.
4. Content - A certificate from the manufacturer listing the content of the capsule, including
botanical names of the plants.
5. Analysis results - A document from an authorized laboratory, signed by the test executer,
detailing the analysis results. In addition, microbiological test should be executed for the following
products; food additives made of vegetative raw materials
(leaves, dried plants and powders), plant extracts and food additives that include microorganisms.
6. Original label of the product.
7. Stability of the product - test results of the shelf life of the product, or an announcement made
by the manufacturer that the claimed shelf life was determined on the basis of stability tests.
Color Additives Approved for Use in Human Food
In March 2010, the following food color additives were approved for use in food products in Israel:
http://www.health.gov.il/Download/pages/fcsmar2010.pdf - see pages: 8-10.
Banned Food Additives
- In August 2007, the following food color additive has been totally forbidden for use in food
products in Israel: E128 (Red 2G).
- Since March 2009, the following food additives were completely banned for use in food
products in Israel:
Propyl p-hydroxybenzoate E216, Sodium propyl p-hydroxybenzoate E217.
- Starting December 2009, the following food additives were banned for usage in food products
in Israel: PARA-HYDROXY-BENZOATES (PHB): Ethyl p-hydroxybenzoate E214, Sodium ethyl p-
Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate E218, Sodium methyl
- In April 2009, the maximum limits of the following food color additive E1520, E1518, and
E1505 were changed:
E E Name Maximum Levels
E1505 Triethyl citrate 3gr/kg
E1518 Glyceryl triacetate For beverages: E1520 maximum level is 1gr/liter, and
(triacetin) maximum level for E1505 is 1gr/liter.
E1520 Propylene glycol
Section V. Pesticides and Other Contaminants:
The Plant Protection and Inspection Services (P.P.I.S.) publishes the ?Israeli Directory of
Pesticides? which lists pesticides registered in Israel under the Plant Protection Law of 1956, and
the Regulation concerning the sale of pesticides, 1994.
The Pesticide Data Bank of the PPIS contains all the information regarding correct and safe usage
of the pesticides permissible
for sale in Israel. The database is being updated 2-3 times per year.
PPIS Pesticide Site: http://www.hadbaraeng.moag.gov.il/hadbara/english/
The following information can be obtained through the data bank:
? Generic name of the active ingredient and its concentration
? Rats LD50
? Toxicity for fish, bees and birds
? Application specifications for the control of pests in various crops, including doses,
volumes and harvest intervals
? Scientific names of the pests
? Maximum residue levels in food (MRL)
? Permissible combinations of pesticides for each crop
This list is based whenever appropriate on the Codex Alimentarius limits. The system used for the
pesticide compounds is according to the IUPAC nomenclature.
During the last 10 years, the following pesticides have been totally forbidden for use in Israel:
Ethylmercuric chloride, Methoxyethlmercuric Chloride, Dinitro-ortho-cresol (DNOC), Sodium
arsenite, Pentachlorophenol, 2,4.5- trichloroacetic acid (2,4,5-T), Monocrothophos, Ethyl
** On May 18th 2009, the Plant Protection and Inspection Service notified to the WTO of a new SPS
measure for all Wood packaging material (G/SPS/N/ISR/8): Description of content: All wooden
packing material must be marked according to standard ISPM 15 of the IPPC. In this matter, wood
packing material includes pallets and supporting beams.
Israel's compliance with the ISPM 15 wood packaging standard will begin on October 1st 2009.
ISPM 15 is the international standards criterion for importing and exporting wood packaging. Its
implementation means that Israel will join an extensive and emerging list of 65 countries requiring
adherence to the ISPM 15 Standards.
Wood packaging material must be subject to either a heat treatment or fumigation as per ISPM 15.
* Methyl Bromide (MB) Fumigation or Heat Treatment. With the MB treatment, the wood
packaging material is fumigated with methyl bromide.
* Heat Treatment (HT) of wood packaging material must be heated in a schedule that achieves a
minimum core temperature of 56ºC for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Unofficial translation into English of the new standard: http://www.flying-
** On May 28th 2009, the Plant Protection and Inspection Service notified the WTO of a new
Regulations Concerning Plant Protection (Import of Plants, Plant Products, Pests and Regulated
Articles). The new regulations came into effect on June 23rd 2009. Under the new regulations, the
PPIS will better manage and monitor plant protection import requirements.
Report Highlights - Regulations Concerning Plant Protection
New Plant Protection Regulations (Plant Import), approved by the Knesset Economics and Finance
Committees, were published March 25, 2009. These regulations are due to go into effect 90 days
after their publication, that is ? June 23, 2009.
As of this date, the Plant Protection Regulations which have been around since 1970 (Importation
of Plants), 5731-1970, will be revoked.
After a decade-long "gestation period," during which the Plant Protection Regulations (Plant
Import, Plant Products, Pests and Regulated Articles) have undergone revision, the task is now
complete and the new regulations are finally seeing the light of day.
The import regulations, which have been around since 1970, have undergone a major change, and
what was once a thin 8-page leaflet has now become a 129-page tome. The unofficial translation
into English of the new regulations can be found on the web site of the Israeli Plan Protection and
Inspection Services (PPIS):
The new Plant Protection Regulations (Plant Import) went into effect on June 23, 2009.
The import of plants into Israel is anchored in the Plant Protection Law ? Plant Protection
Regulations (Plant Import), which regulate the variety of plant material imported, pests and
regulated articles: fresh produce (fruit, vegetables, cut flowers, etc.), propagation material, potted
plants, growth media, vegetal feed for animals, edible kernels, etc.
Such import poses numerous risks to plant health in Israel because of the possible introduction of
pests that do not exist in Israel, and their subsequent acclimatization and establishment, resulting
in extensive economic damage to domestic agriculture as well as
environmental harm to natural vegetation.
Owing to the dangers entailed in this type of import, every country is entitled to protect itself by
prescribing import restrictions. This notwithstanding, the international trade agreements
(WTO/SPS, IPPC) call for acting with transparency, with a commitment
to harmonization and in conformity with international criteria with regard to all provisions and
restrictions imposed on import, to prevent, insofar as possible, barriers to international trade. The
import regulations in force today, enacted back in 1970, do not jibe with the spirit of current
international agreements regarding transparency and the establishment of phytosanitarily
warranted restrictions. Due to the foregoing reasons, it was decided at the Plant Protection and
Inspection Services (PPIS) of the Ministry of Agriculture (in charge of enforcing the aforesaid
regulations) to extensively modify the plant import regulations in terms of both structure and
Following are the highlights of the modification:
A. License Exemption
The new import regulations introduce a substantive change in the licensing system, manifested
by the exemption of a long list of plants and plant products from the requirement for an import
All imported products have been categorized into three groups:
1) Third Schedule ? Goods listed in this schedule are exempt from an import permit and a
phytosanitary certificate, but must be accompanied by a Certificate of Origin. Their release is
conditional on a visual inspection at the port of entry and on being pest-free.
2) Fourth Schedule ? Goods listed in this schedule are exempt from an import permit, but
must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin, complying with
all the import requirements specified in the body of the schedule.
Their release is conditional on the approval of all the accompanying documents, on a visual
inspection at the port of entry and on compliance with all the import terms.
3) Licensed import ? As to goods not appearing in the aforementioned schedules, an import
permit application must be submitted in respect thereof. Following a pest risk assessment
(PRA), it will be decided whether to approve the application and under what restrictions.
Such goods must be accompanied by an import permit, phytosanitary certificate and visual
inspection at the port of entry as a condition for release from the port of entry.
B. B. Phytosanitary Certificate Exemption
Another change introduced into the new import regulations is the addition of a new schedule (Third
Schedule), giving a list of products exempt from the requirement of being accompanied by a
In the new Plant Import Regulations there is full transparency as regards the phytosanitary means
established for preventing the entry of pests with imported plants and plant products, so as to
protect Israel's flora from the dangers inherent in such import. Such means have been established
according to the PRA-determined risk level. This transparency is manifested in several ways:
1) First Schedule ? List of treatments approved as quarantine treatments.
2) Second Schedule ? List of quarantine pests of the State of Israel. This list includes all
pests not existing in Israel, whose arrival with imported plant material is liable to endanger
domestic agriculture and natural vegetation; therefore, their presence in an imported consignment
is likely to prevent the entry of this consignment into Israel.
3) Third and Fourth Schedules ? List of goods allowed for import into the State of Israel
and enumeration of all the specific requirements (if any) for each product.
4) Fifth Schedule ? List of goods prohibited for import.
D. D. Fees
In the new regulations there has been a re-pricing of inspection costs (Eighth Schedule ? Fees). In
addition, a fee will be charged for submitting a license application and for requesting a license
copy. The new regulations will significantly facilitate the import process and allow for the import of
a variety of products, including also some not imported in the past and from new import sources,
subject, of course, to a risk assessment. Likewise, the change will promote openness, transparency
and conformance with the requirements of international agreements. Nevertheless, the quarantine
inspectors of the PPIS are charged with the task of ascertaining that the public's desire for
variegated import from a variety of sources as well as the need to fulfill the State of Israel's
commitment to international trade agreements does not lead to increased exposure to the
potential dangers posed by such openness to domestic agriculture and natural vegetation
Treatments as Requested by the Plant Import Regulations
In August 2009, the PPIS updated it?s treatments requirements for plants and its products:
The PPIS are in charge of the approval and registration of preparations suitable for organic
agriculture. Suitability is checked by an advisory committee to the General Director of the PPIS, in
relation to the Israeli standard of fresh and processed organic produce from plant origin, and the
EU Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91. All the inputs for organic agriculture (nutrients, plant
protection products, and supplements for the organic food industry) have to be checked for
compliance with the standard?s requirements.
To enter a substance for a review in the advisory committee for organic agriculture, the following
documents must be submitted:
1. Identification of the substance and its ingredients.
2. Production method.
3. Products containing an animal ingredient must have a preliminary approval of the Veterinary
Services of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Registration will be carried out according to the procedure described in ?Registration and Licensing
The following products have been approved for use in organic farming in Israel:
The Israeli office responsible for SPS notification to the WTO is the Plant Protection and Inspection
Services (PPIS), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Contact: Ms. Yael Armitage, Plant Protection and Inspection Services (PPIS), Ministry of Agriculture
and Rural Development, PO Box 78, Bet Degan 50250, Israel. Fax:+(972) 3 968 1507 Email:
Plant Disease Gallery
A gallery of documented plant diseases (mainly fungal) diagnosed at the Plant Disease Diagnostic
Lab of the PPIS: http://www.ppis.moag.gov.il/ppis/plant_disease_gallery/
The Insect Gallery is a database with images, containing ecological, biological and systematic
information on insects in Israel, particularly those considered agricultural pests. The Plant Disease
Gallery is planned by the Plant Protection Diagnostic Service, Phytopathology Unit.
Food Safety ? Heavy Metals in Foodstuffs
The Israeli Ministry of Health has increased monitoring on imported food
products in recent months. In order to ensure that importers and exporters are
aware of the latest Israeli regulations affecting imports of foodstuff, FAS Tel Aviv is
sharing in this report the Israeli National Food Control Service?s, part of the Ministry
of Health, 2009 updated regulation setting the limits for various heavy metals in
foodstuff. Exporters and importers should check that the level in the exported food
does not exceed the level which is permitted by this regulation.
Food Laws: Limits for various heavy metals in foodstuff
Lead Cadmium Mercury Arsenic Arsenic*
Milk 0.02 0.005 0.01 0.012 1.0
Milk products 0.2 0.05 0.1 0.12 1.0
Oils and fats and fat emulsions 0.1 0.03 0.02 0.1 1.0
Fruits AND vegetables 0.1 0.05 0.03 0.06 1.0
(excluding the items that are
Cabbages 0.3 0.05 0.03 0.06 1.0
Leaf vegetables, celery, 0.3 0.2 0.03 0.06 1.0
mushrooms, edible plants, &
Dried leaf vegetables, celery, 1.5 1.0 0.15 0.3 5.0
mushrooms, edible plants, &
Root vegetables, stem, bulb 0.1 0.1 0.03 0.06 1.0
Pulses (dried) (excluding the 0.2 0.1 0.03 0.12 1.0
items that are mentioned
Peanuts and soybeans 0.2 0.2 0.03 0.12 1.0
Small berries 0.2 0.05 0.03 0.06 1.0
Fresh seaweed/alga 1.0 1.0 0.5 1.0 1.0
Dried seaweed/alga 5.0 5.0 2.5 1.0 5.0
Cocoa powder 1.0 0.3 0.2 1.0 1.0
Cereal & Its products (excluding 0.2 0.1 0.03 1.0 1.0
the items that are mentioned
Wheat 0.2 0.2 0.03 1.0 1.0
Rice 0.2 0.4 0.03 1.0 1.0
Oily seeds 2.0 0.5 0.4 1.0 1.0
Meat & Its products, including 0.1 0.05 0.2 0.02 1.0
poultry and hunting (excluding
the items that are mentioned
Beef, sheep, goats and chicken 0.5 0.5 0.2 0.2 1.0
offal?s (excluding the items that
are mentioned below)
Chicken liver 0.5 0.5 0.2 0.5 1.0
Turkey liver 0.5 1.0 0.2 0.5 1.0
Beef, goat and sheep kidneys 0.5 1.0 0.2 0.2 1.0
Fish & Its products (excluding 0.3 0.05 0.5* 1.0 1.0
the items that are mentioned
Tuna, anchovy, sardine, 0.4 0.3 1.0* 1.0 1.0
swordfish, shark and other
Sea food 1.0 2.0 0.5* 1.0 1.0
Eggs and egg powder 0.1 0.01 0.03 1.0 1.0
Sugar 0.5 0.14 0.1 0.5 1.0
Salt 2.0 0.5 0.1 0.5 1.0
Infant/baby formulas (ready to 0.02 0.0056 0.004 0.012 1.0
Infant /baby formulas (in 0.08 0.02 0.015 0.5 1.0
Infant/baby porridge (ready to 0.04 0.012 0.008 0.024 1.0
Infant/baby porridge (in powder 0.08 0.02 0.015 0.5 1.0
Dietary supplement (excluding 3.0 1.0 0.1 1.0 2.0
the items that are mentioned
Dietary supplement made 3.0 3.0 0.1 1.0 5.0
mainly from dried seaweed & Its
Beverages (excluding dairy 0.02 0.01 0.01 0.1 1.0
products and the items that are
Bottled water and mineral water 0.01 0.003 0.001 0.006 0.01
Fruit and vegetable juices 0.05 0.01 0.01 0.2 1.0
Nectars 0.05 0.01 0.01 0.2 1.0
Raw tea 5.0 0.1 0.05 0.1 1.0
Ready to drink tea 0.5 0.01 0.005 0.1 1.0
Alcoholic beverages (no more 0.2 0.03 0.01 0.1 1.0
than 2% alcohol)
* Percentage of methyl mercury
** If the total arsenic (organic arsenic and non-organic arsenic) exceeds the value listed in the
table, please check the maximum concentration of the non-organic arsenic.
Analysis method is according to the latest edition of ?Official Methods of Analysis of the
Association of Official Analytical Chemists International?.
Section VI. Other Regulations and Requirements:
Any food marked with the word ?kosher? shall also be marked with the name and location of the
person certifying the kashrut or the registered mark in Israel of the organization certifying the
It is recommended to add to the word ?kosher? the words ?meat? ?dairy? or Passover? ?donations
and tithes have been set aside? ?free from suspicion of ?orla? or third year fruit?, ?not from the
Sabbatical year?, etc. According to the nature of the matter and on the authority of the person
certifying the Kashrut.
Meat products, including poultry meat, which are not ?kosher?, non-kosher fish products and
products made from non-kosher fish, shall be marked with the words ?non-kosher?. It is illegal to
import non-kosher meat, including poultry, to Israel. The size of the letters in the word ?kosher?
shall not be smaller than the minimum size of letters of the name of the product as stipulated in
Table 1 above. The size of the letters denoting the name and location of the person giving the
certification shall not be smaller than the minimum size of the letters of the name of the
manufacturer as stipulated in table 1.
Similar products, produced by one manufacturer, some of which contain the kashrut certification
as noted in paragraphs 12.1 and 12.2 of the Regulation and some of which do not carry this
marking, shall have conspicuously different labels. This requirement does not apply to those
products, which are marked ?Kosher for Passover?.
As Israeli law stipulates that the council of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is the sole authority
responsible for determining whether a product is kosher, exporters of kosher products should
ensure through their importing agents, that their kosher certification is accepted by Israel?s Chief
2. New Food Registration Procedure and Biotechnology Policy
In February 2006, the Israeli ?New Food Committee? published new regulations for new food
registration. It is expected that the registration of foods containing GMO ingredients will begin by
the end of 2006. The new procedure deals with food registration
and will not concern the labeling of modified food products.
The purpose of the new regulations is to establish a clear, orderly and systematic registration
process for new food and updating the New Foods Register. Its purpose is also to provide
information as to the designation of authority and operational responsibility (See Annex 2: New
Food Registration Procedure).
Imported food products will be divided into two groups ? food products already existing in the food
market and new to the
market food products. The procedures for each group will be as follows:
1. Already existing food products ? The new food committee will issue a list of GMO agricultural
varieties, which have been already imported to Israel (soybean, corn, canola, chicory and more). It
is assumed that those varieties will be exempt from the registration procedure. However, the
Israeli food committee has not yet decided finally on that. It is estimated that the committee will
finish its discussions by the end of 2006.
2. For new food products which have not yet been registered, the importer must submit the
following registration documents:
Application to register a new food (Annex A), Legislative status of the new food (Annex B), and
Additional requirements of new foods according to the type of new food (Annex C) (see pages 27-
The importer must submit annex B (page 29) accompanied by a risk assessment certificate. The
Israeli Health Ministry have authorized the following institutions to carry out food risk
The European Communities/EFSA
ANZFA ? Australia and New Zealand Food Authority/
FSANZ Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Japan ? Department of Food Safety, Ministry of Health
WHO/FAO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Expert Committees
Section VII. Other Specific Standards:
It is the declared policy of the Government of Israel to adopt international standards wherever
possible, and to implement mandatory standards related only to safety, health, and the
environment. In practice, however, many products are still subject to
mandatory standards some of which were designed to favor domestic producers over importers. As
in the case of plywood, these local standards often specify in terms of design rather than
performance. The Israel plywood standard effectively excludes most United States plywood from
The Standards Institution of Israel (SII) is the agency responsible for the development of most
product standards, compliance testing, and certification of products and industry quality assurance
systems. For further information, interested firms should
contact: The Standards Institution of Israel, 42 Lebanon Street, Tel Aviv 69977; Tel: 972-3-
6465154; Fax: 972-3-6419683. Email: General Information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web site: http://www.sii.org.il
Israel has not officially adopted ISO-9000 standards, although there is a growing preference for
ISO-9000 standards among Israeli importers. This is especially important in the case of
ingredients and raw materials destined for the production of export products.
In the past, most imported food products were subject to specified size (weight or volume
requirements which often excluded standard non-metric sizes used by United States companies.
Late in 1998 the imposed metric weight and measure standards became voluntary, i.e. served as
guidelines to manufacturers but ceased to be obligatory. It remains obligatory to denote on the
package the contents in metric terms. Packages of a size which does not conform to the official
standard must bear an indication of the unit cost of the product.
The Government of Israel requires that food and health products be registered with the Ministry of
Health before they can be sold in the country. FDA approval for food and health care products is
not mandatory, but Israeli importers prefer it as it accelerates the product registration process and
import license approval. Product registration normally takes from
4-6 weeks if all documentation is in order.
2. Nutritional Labeling
Nutritional labeling of food is mandatory and should list the following values per 100 grams
or 100 milliliters of food content:
- Caloric value (kilo-calories per 100 gr. or 100 ml of net content);
- Protein content (grams per 100 gr. or 100 ml of net content)
- Carbohydrates (grams per 100 gr. or 100 ml of net content);
- Fat content (grams per 100 gr. or 100 ml of net content).
If the product label indicates the size of the portion and the number of portions, it is also permitted
to indicate these nutritional values per serving portion.
For minimum content of other nutrients which allows its inclusion in the nutritional labeling See
The labeling of food using expressions which refer to its qualities in regard to: calories, fat, salt,
and cholesterol content must be labeled as follows:
Concerning the reduction of calories in a food product, two categories are defined:
1. Low Calories
2. Reduced Calories
1. Low Calories
a. Non-alcoholic beverages, including concentrates and powders for the preparation of
beverages containing not more than 20 Calories per 100 ml of ready-to-drink beverage.
b. B. Food that is not non-alcoholic beverages, including milk products in which the amount of
calories is not more than 40 per 100 gr/ml of food.
2. Reduced Calories. A food product which contains not more than 2/3 the caloric content of a
product covered by a standard or order or regulation.
Concerning the reduction of fat in food products, three categories are defined:
1. Food Without Fat Or Fat Free. Food in which the amount of fat is not more than 0.5%.
2. Low Fat. Food in which the total amount of fat is not more than 2 grams of fat per 100 gr. or
100 ml of food.
3. Reduced Fat. A food which contains not more than 2/3 the fat contents of a product covered
by a Standard or Order or Regulation. This requirement does not apply to food rich in fat such as:
butter, margarine, peanut butter, and sesame paste.
III Salt (For labeling purposes, salt means sodium)
Concerning the reduction of sodium in food products, three categories are defined:
1. Without Salt or Salt Free. Food in which the amount of salt is no more than
2. Low Sodium. A food product in which the amount of sodium is not more than 100 mg of
sodium per 100 gr. or ml of food.
3. Reduced Sodium. Food which contains not more than 1/4 the sodium content of a product
covered by a standard or order or regulation and which contains more than 100 mg of sodium per
100 gr. or ml of food.
Concerning the reduction of the amount of cholesterol in food products, three categories are
1. Without Cholesterol or Cholesterol Free. A food product in which the amount of
cholesterol is zero. In a laboratory test, deviation of up to 2.5 mg cholesterol per 100 gr. or ml of
food will be permitted.
2. Low Cholesterol. A food product in which the amount of cholesterol is not more than 30 mg
per 100 gr. or ml of food.
1. Reduced Cholesterol. A food product which contains not more than two-thirds of the
cholesterol content in a food covered by a standard or order or regulation.
The nutritional labeling of food products generally relates to 100 gr. or ml of food. If the package
indicates the number of portions contained in it, the nutritional content may be shown on a per
portion basis. If the producer?s instructions indicate that the product
is to be diluted with water, the nutritional labeling shall be for 100 gr. or ml of food consumed.
For Full List of Israeli food standards see Annex 6 and 7.
Section VIII. Copyright and/or Trademark Laws:
Any proprietor of a trademark used, or proposed to be used in Israel, may apply for registration of
the mark. Collective marks and certification marks are also entitled to registration. Application
may be made by the owner of the mark or by the owner?s agent. The agent must work in Israel
and must present written authorization by the owner.
All applicants must present a local address for correspondence and contact, so that the
Government of Israel generally advises foreign trademark owners to engage a local attorney to file
their applications. The fee for a trademark application changes from time to time. At present it is
approximately $175. The term of protection for a trademark is seven years. This may be renewed
indefinitely for periods of 14 years on payment of fees.
Case law in Israel gives priority of registration to the first local user of the trademark. Every
application for trademark registration must specify goods falling in one class only, according to the
International Classification of Goods and Services (ICGS).
Under the terms of the Paris Convention, one who has made an application to register a trade or
service mark in another signatory country has a right to claim priority for registration of the same
mark in Israel for the same use. An application for registration
of the trademark claiming such priority must be made within six months from the date of the first
application in a Convention country. A draft unfair competition law has been submitted for
consideration. It contains a substantial section on trade secrets which aims to clarify ambiguities
governing trade secrets as well as addressing appropriate remedies for their breech.
Injunction relief, damages and forfeiture or destruction of the competing wares, are all available
remedies under Israeli civil law.
Criminal sanctions include imprisonment for up to a year and a fine of the local currency equivalent
of close to $5,000.
The Israel Patent and Trade Mark Office can supply information to interested parties on patents,
registered designs and trademarks.
Contact: Israel Patent and Trade Mark Office, P.O.Box 354, 91002, Jerusalem, Israel.
Need for a Local Attorney
United States companies should seek professional legal and/or accountancy advice whenever
engaged in complicated contractual arrangements in Israel. Companies, who wish to establish an
office, invest, or apply for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
registration in Israel, should seek professional legal advice. Companies may also wish to seek legal
assistance when encountering trade or payment problems. A list of local law firms is available from
the Consular Section of the United States Embassy, Tel Aviv.
Section IX. Import Procedures:
SPS and Regulatory Systems:
Four agencies are involved in Israel?s food/livestock/plants safety supervision, including the
National Food Control Service (FCS), which is part of the Ministry of Health, the Standards
Institution of Israel, the Israel Veterinary and Animal Health Services and the Plant Protection and
Inspection Services which are a part of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The FCS is in charge of imported food licensing and is notorious for its difficult requirements on
high-value food products. Depending on the product, both the Ministry of Trade and MOAG have
responsibility for managing quota allocations under the FTA.
Food Control Services was established in 1968
Control of all aspects of food in Israel. Responsibility:
After fruit picking, slaughterhouse, reception of milk in dairy, fishery and imported
food until consumption by customers
FCS goals and objectives
Public Health Protection
Food Safety and Quality
Priority in control according to Risk Management
Encouragement of food processing according to HACCP Hazard Analysis Critical Control
FCS Head Office
Food Safety Policy establishment
Centralization of reports
Interpretation of the Data as policy management tool
Service box for
Composition of product
need for approval
Original product label
Public Health Ordinance (Food)
Control and Commodities Services LaOw ther documents according to type
Business License Law
Consumer Protection Order
Free Import Order of food
Licensing by FCS Laboratory results
All food products imported to Israel have to abide by all the official standards and
regulations of the country:
The Public Health Regulations
Relevant Directives of the FCS per food product
Import procedure- Prior Authorization
Docs. & analysis
** Valid prior
Opening of container
Detaining shipment until
Dealing with shipment receiving results
Return to origin
Bonded - customs
Import Procedure ? Release at Port of Entry
Local health FCS
A shipment that has arrived
without prior certification is
suspect and be will be treated as
** Imported food products are divided into two groups ? ?sensitive? and ?non-sensitive? products
(see table 1).
The procedures for the two groups are as follows:
1. The importer must fill out an application that he is a qualified importer, and he declares that he
or someone on his behalf has a warehouse for the purpose of storage. This procedure is used for
the two kinds of products.
2. An importer of regular products has to fill out the following certificate: Importer Statement.
3. Following the importer certificates filling, he will receive an official importer certificate from the
Israeli Food & Nutrition Services.
1. Requires filing a preliminary application for authorization to import regular food products.
Importation of these kinds of products requires the following procedures:
1. See section 1- importer registration.
2. A preliminary application for authorization to import food products, and a border station
release application. The following certificates are required for the purpose of releasing the
food products from the border station:
Original/copied official importer certificate.
Original/copied food certificate.
Gate pass certificate.
Copy of the bill of lading and packing list.
Copy of the import tax.
Table 1: ?Sensitive? Food Products (may change in the future)
1. Milk products, and milk products substitutes, including canned products
2. Meat and poultry products, and their substitutes, including canned products
3. Fish products and their substitutes, sea food, including canned products.
4 Food supplements: vitamins, minerals and herbs
5. Baby food, including infant formula, follow-up formula, baby porridge, puree baby food,
biscuits baby food, fruit juice baby food,
6. Eggs products, including confectionery products that contain eggs
7. Canned food (under pH 4.5)
8. Gelatin products, including products that contain gelatin
9. Honey products according to the Israeli Honey Standards (SI 373)
10. Other food products that have to be storage in low temperature
11. Mineral water and other bottled water
12. Mushroom products (excluding food products with mushrooms)
13. Food products for people with metabolic disorders (for people with PKU; Gluten-free food
products; Lactose-free food products; Low calorie food products; Free of sugar food products)
14. Beverages that are based on mineral water
15. Food products for athletes
16. Mayonnaise and spreads that contain eggs
17. Fresh fruit and vegetables
18. Vitamins, minerals and amino acids
19. Color additives for the retail market
20. Food products containing caffeine above 150 ppm
21. Other kind of foods that the food and nutrition services decided that it?s a ?sensitive? food
All import licensing requirements for U.S. made consumer and industrial goods have been
eliminated under the United States ? Israel Free Trade Area Agreement (FTAA) of 1985 and World
Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. Imported food items require the approval of the Ministry of
Health?s Food Control Administration, which is also responsible for approval of labeling and
packaging. All plant material (including dried fruits and nuts) requires import approval from the
Plant Protection and Inspection Service. Unprocessed and unpackaged imported meat must be
licensed by the Israel Veterinary Services (IVS) and originate in a plant which has been certified as
approved by the IVS. Packaged meat and poultry for retail sale is subject to licensing by the Food
Control Administration of the Ministry of Health. Israel law requires that all meat and poultry
imports be certified kosher by the Rabbinical Council of the Chief Rabbinate or a body authorized
by the Council. As an exception it is possible to import non-kosher beef offal. Israel?s veterinary
authorities ban imports of bone-in beef from countries where there is a danger of transmitting Foot
and Mouth Disease (FMD) or Bovine Spongiform Encephaly (BSE), also known as the Mad Cow
A) Import Documentation
1. Shipping documentation
United States exporters to Israel must follow United States Government requirements regarding
export control documentation. The Israeli Customs Services prefer that exporters use their own
commercial invoice forms containing all required information including name and address of
supplier, general nature of the goods, country of origin of the goods, name and address of the
customer in Israel, name of agent in Israel, terms, rate of exchange (if applicable), Israel import
license number (if applicable), shipping information, and a full description of all goods in the
shipment including shipping marks, quantity or measure, composition of goods (by percentage if
mixed), H.S. tariff heading number, gross weight of each package, net weight of each package,
total weight of shipment, price per unit as sold, and total value of shipment. The total value of the
shipment includes packing, shipping, dock and agency fees, and insurance charges incurred in the
exportation of the goods to Israel. The commercial invoice must be signed by the manufacturer,
consignor, owner, or authorized agent. United States exporters should also double-check whether
other documentation, including bill of lading and packing list, is required. Fresh produce and seeds
require a phytosanitary certificate (PC) issued by USDA/APHIS. Fresh and frozen meat and poultry
products must be accompanied by an FSIS inspection certificate. The veterinary or phytosanitary
requirements of the Israeli authorities are indicated on the import permit which must be obtained
prior to contracting for the goods. Application for an import permit must be made by a resident of
2. United States Certificates of Origin for Exporting to Israel
In order to benefit from the provisions of the FTAA, a special ?United States Certificate of Origin for
Exporting to Israel? (CO) must be presented to Israel Customs. The certificate does not need to be
notarized or stamped by a Chamber of Commerce if the exporter is also the manufacturer.
Instead, the exporter should make the following declaration in box 11 of the certificate:?The
undersigned hereby declares that he is the producer of the goods covered by this certificate and
that they comply with the origin requirements specified for those goods in the United States -Israel
Free Trade Area Agreement for goods exported to Israel.?
The actual forms are printed by a number of commercial printing houses in the United States For
further information on how to obtain them; United States exporters should contact the United
States Department of Commerce Israel Desk Officer in Washington DC.
3. Approved Exporter Status
It is possible for exporters to apply for a blanket CO, or ?Approved Exporter? status. An ?approved
exporter? needs only to present an invoice which substitutes for the CO, and which contains an
?approved exporter? number and a declarat