In February 2011, The Ministry of Health announced new regulations under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics, and Disinfectants Act of 1972, which concern the presence of trans-fats in foods.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number:
South Africa - Republic of
Food and Agricultural Import Regulations: Trans-Fats
Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and
Standards - Narrative
In February 2011, The Ministry of Health announced new regulations under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics,
and Disinfectants Act of 1972, which concern the presence of trans-fats in foods. The new regulation
goes into effect six-months after the notification. According to regulation, a maximum trans-fat content
of two grams per 100 grams, per serving, is allowed in the final product. This regulation is expected to
enter into force in August, 2011. FAS/Pretoria learned that this regulation has negatively affected the
sourcing of some U.S. consumer-oriented products during a recent EMP funded South African retail
food sector assessment.
As part of a recent EMP project to conduct a retail food sector assessment in South Africa, FAS/Pretoria
met with several food retailers, importers, and food processors. During several of these meetings,
importers and food retailers complained of the difficulty in complying with a recently implemented
regulation concerning trans-fats in all products destined for human consumption. One importer noted
they had to discontinue carrying certain items from the U.S. as it was no longer compliant under the
The regulation the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics, and Disinfectants Act of 1972, announced on February 17
2011 by the Ministry of Health, governs the presence of trans-fats in foods destined for human
consumption and went into effect in late 2011. The regulation sets a maximum allowable level for
trans-fats in foods and has reportedly affected the imports of some consumer-oriented foods and food
ingredients from the United States. Additionally, the regulation requires products be tested to determine
the level of trans-fats in food products.
According to regulation, a maximum trans-fat content of two grams per 100 grams, is allowed in the
final product. Products containing trans-fat levels above this may not enter, or be sold in South Africa.
The regulation also stipulates the requirements for labeling a product ?trans-fat free?. In order to be
labeled ?trans-fat free,? the product must contain less than one gram of trans-fat per 100 grams. While
most U.S. food manufacturers have reduced or eliminated the presence of trans-fats in their products,
this regulation is more stringent than U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements that
require manufacturers to include the level of trans-fats within the nutritional labeling.
This regulation was previously documented in FAS/Pretoria?s FY2012 Food and Agricultural Import
Regulations and Standards Reporting (FAIRS) Report.