MAA 2020-13 Dairy: Saudi Arabia: New regulation; no provision for use of annatto (additive) in cheese

Date of issue: 21 April 2020

Date of effect: 1 June 2020

Reference Number: MAA2020-13


  • Industries— Industry Bodies - Dairy Australia, Dairy Export Industry Consultative Committee
  • Export establishments
  • Licensed exporters
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment —Central and Regional offices


To notify cheese manufacturers and exporters that the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) have implemented a new Technical Regulation for "Additives Permitted for Use in Food Stuffs". The additive annatto is no longer permitted in cheese exported to Saudi Arabia.

Summary of key points

  • The Saudi Food and Drug Authority’s new Technical Regulation for "Additives Permitted for Use in Food Stuffs" will come into effect on 1 June 2020
  • The new regulation makes no permission for the use of annatto (additive) in cheese
  • During the consultation process, the department submitted comments and expressed concerns that there are no provisions for the use of annatto.  
  • The Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) will be updated to reflect this market access advice.
  • The department encourages all exporters to work with their importers to ensure that products meet current importing country requirements.

Further information

Contact Export Standards if you have any queries.

The information provided in this advice is current at the time of writing and is intended for use as guidance only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. The Commonwealth endeavours to keep information current and accurate, however, it may be subject to change without notice. Exporters are encouraged to verify these details with their importers prior to undertaking production/exports. The Commonwealth will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on information contained in this notice.

Last reviewed: 21 April 2020
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