Japan Agricultural Quality Standards – Explained

import produce

Thinking about importing a beverage or food product into Japan? Not sure what certification you will need to obtain? This guide will give a how-to explanation and list certified providers of JAS certification.

What is JAS or Japan Agricultural Quality Standards?

In Japan, Standards for quality and production methods are provided for foods, beverages (other than alcoholic beverages), and forestry products.  These standards are referred to as Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS).

In order for products to carry JAS marks on their packaging, they must be graded by producers, manufacturers, distributors, or importers who are certified by third party organizations that are recognized by the Japanese government.

These organizations are called RCB or Registered Certifying Bodies.

In order to import these products with the JAS Marking they must be produced or manufactured by overseas producers or manufacturers certified by Registered Japanese Certifying Bodies or Registered Overseas Certifying Bodies, and are distributed.

You can read more about the process flow of importing these products here:  Importation Procedures for JAS Products

You can view and download the list here: list of RCB – registered certifying bodies of JAS

Regarding the official laws related to JAS or Japan Agricultural Standards

From the Ministry of Agricultural Affairs Website:

  • “JAS Law” is the abbreviation of “The Law Concerning Standardization, etc. of Agricultural and Forestry Products”.
  • JAS Law is concerning to the “JAS System” which ensures that the foods and drinks, etc.  have a certain quality and are produced by specific method. Then the JAS Marks are attached to the various foods etc. under the rule regulated by the JAS Law.
  • The JAS System was introduced in 1950 as the Agricultural and Forestry Standard Law, and assumed its current status in 1970 with the addition of quality labeling standard system. The JAS System has been reviewed in light of social situations and other pertinent factors.
  • According to the enforcement of the Food Labeling Act (※) in April 2015, the provisions relating to the food labeling of the JAS Law were transferred to the Food Labeling Act and the name of the JAS Law was changed from “The Law Concerning Standardization and Proper Labeling of Agricultural and Forestry Products” to “The Law Concerning Standardization, etc. of Agricultural and Forestry Products”.

(※) With regard to the Food Labeling Act, the planning and designing of the Law is under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Affairs Agency(http://www.caa.go.jp/en/index.html).

You can view and download the laws concerning JAS here:

The Law Concerning Standardization, etc.of Agricultural and Forestry Products (Law No, 175 of 1950) (June 28,2013) (PDF:295KB)

Enforcement Ordinance of the Law Concerning Standardization, etc. of Agricultural and Forestry Products (Government Ordinance No.291of 1951) (March 6,2015)(PDF:97KB)

Enforcement Regulation for the Law Concerning Standardization, etc. of Agricultural and Forestry Products (Ministerial Ordinance No.62 of 1950)(March 20,2015)(PDF:375KB)

Three-Tier Chart for JAS Law (PDF:354KB)
The JAS is not a standard on food safety, HACCP or GAP

1) General JAS with quality, such as composition, grading, performance; and
2) Specific JAS with production methods, such as organic foods and naturally grown chicken (“Jidoriniku”).

In order to attach JAS marks to their products, Business Entities such as producers and manufacturers shall be certified by Registered Japanese or Overseas Certifying Bodies. The Business Entities both in Japan and overseas are able to be certified.

List of JAS Domain Products:
1 Instant noodles 28 Hams
2 Dried Japanese noodles 29 Pressed ham
3 Macaroni Products 30 Sausage
4 Vegetable protein and seasoned vegetable protein 31 Mixed sausage
5 Shoyu (soy sauce) 32 Bacons
6 Worcester sauces 33 Hamburger patty
7 Flavored seasonings 34 Chilled hamburger steak
8 Dressings 35 Chilled meatball
9 Vinegar 36 Shavings of dried fish
10 Processed tomato products 37 Boiled and dried small fishes
11 Carrot juice and carrot mixed juice 38 Panko (breadcrumbs)
12 Dehydrated soup 39 Aged hams
13 Margarines 40 Aged sausages
14 Shortening 41 Aged bacons
15 Refined lard 42 Naturally grown chicken
16 Edible refined and processed oils and fats 43 Hand-made Somen
17 Edible vegetable oils and fats 44 Organic agricultural products
18 Glucose 45 Organic processed foods
19 High fructosecorn syrup and sugar added high fructose corn
syrup
46 Organic feeds
20 Jams 47 Organic livestock products
21 Fruit juice and fruit beverage 48 Beef with production information
22 Carbonated drinks 49 Pork with production information
23 Soy milks 50 Agricultural products with production information
24 Canned agricultural products and bottled agricultural
products 51 Caltivated fish with production information
25 Canned livestock products and bottled livestock products 52 Pure apple juice not from concentrate
26 Canned marine products and bottled marine products 53 Processed foods distributed under fixed temperature control
27 Pickled agricultural products
Ⅱ Forestry products Ⅲ Farm products
1 Log 1 Tatami facing
2 Sawn lumber 2 Raw silk
3 Glued laminated timber
4 Structural lumber for wood frame construction
5 Finger – joint structural lumber for wood frame construction
6 Laminated veneer lumber
7 Structural panel
8 Plywood
9 Flooring
10 Cross laminated timber
Beverages, foods and oil

Have a question about JAS Law?  Post a question below.