The Japan Food Chemical Research Foundation
Positive List System for Agricultural Chemical Residues in Foods
The Japanese Positive List System for Agricultural Chemical Residues in Foods
(Enforcement on May 29, 2006)
Introduction of the Positive List System for Agricultural Chemical Residues in Foods
(Document released by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare)
Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) of Agricultural Chemicals in Foods
Foods in which any agricultural chemical residues (including pesticides, feed additives, and veterinary drugs) are found in excess of the level determined by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare (
) shall not be produced, imported, processed, used, cooked, or stored for sale, or sold, provided, however, that the foregoing provision shall not be applied to the case where the residue limit levels of chemical substances are stipulated in
compositional specification for foods (MRLs)
(Summary of Article 11, Paragraph 3 of the Food Sanitation Law)
Uniform Limit: 0.01 ppm
The level determined by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare
MHLW Notification No. 497, 2005
List: Substances having no potential to cause damage to human health and specified so by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare
MHLW Notification No.498, 2005
: Compositional Specification for Foods
(Updated on July 19, 2017 )
The maximum residue limits of substance used as ingredient of agricultural chemical in foods.
(MHW Notification, No. 370, 1959, amendment No.499 2005)
The above list is compiled and summarized by The Japan Food Chemical Research Foundation based on a part of "Section A: Compositional Standards for Foods in General" of "Part I: Foods" of "MHW Notification No. 370 (Specifications and Standards for Foods, Food Additives, etc.), 1959" and briefing paper of MHLW.
Compositional Standards for Food in General (summary)
1. Foods shall not contain any antibiotics or chemically synthesized antibacterial substances except for the following cases:
(1) When the substance concerned is identical to the food additive determined by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare under Article 10 of the Food Sanitation Law.
(2) When compositional standards are set forth in
5, 6, 7, 8 or 9
below for the substance concerned.
(3) When the food product concerned has been manufactured or processed using a food ingredient that meets the compositional standards given in
5, 6, 7, 8 or 9
below (except for foods containing antibiotics or chemically synthesized antibacterial substances for which compositional standards are not set forth in
5, 6, 7, 8 or 9
List of antibiotics or chemically synthesized antibacterial substances published at positive list
Foods should not contain substances (including substances produced by chemical transformation) used as ingredients of agricultural chemicals and other chemical substances listed in the following table.
Substances used as ingredients of agricultural chemicals and other chemical substances that are stipulated to be "not detected" in foods
(MHLW Notification No.499, 2005)
The maximum residue limits (MRLs) of substance used as ingredient of agricultural chemical in foods
Maximum residue limits by substances of agricultural chemicals mainly in relation to individual fresh foods.
MRLs in foods
Maximum residue limits of agricultural chemicals stipulated for individual fresh foods in addition to the compositional specifications stipulated under 6, (Provisional MRLs)
MRLs in processed foods
Maximum residue limits of agricultural chemicals stipulated for processed food products in addition to the compositional specifications stipulated under 6 and 7 (Provisional MRLs)
In addition to the provisions of 6 or 9, when food products are manufactured or processed using foods for which compositional standards are specified in 6 through 9, the foods used must comply with the standards given in 6 through 9.
for Positive list system
Establishment of Applicable Laws and Ordinances in Response to the Implementation of Paragraph 3, Article 11, Which Has Been Newly Added to the Food Sanitation Law, Based on the Law to Partially Amend the Food Sanitation Law (Syoku-An No.1129001, November 29, 2005)
The Director Notice (Syoku-An No.1129001) was updated twice: Syoku-An No. 0315002, March 15, 2006; Syoku-An No. 0526004, May 26, 2006. This document reflects the revisions.
This document is rearranged from the original Director Notice (Syoku-An No.1129001, November 29, 2005). This rearrangement aims to help English readers understand the operation of the positive list system for agricultural chemicals.
Handling of Spices and Herbs
Points to Note about Maximum Residue Limits Stipulated in Items 6 and 7 of the Revised General Requirements
Detection Limits of the Analytical Methods Stipulated in Items 5, 6, and 7 in the Revised General Requirements