Import Refusal of Thai Food Exported to the United States of America in 2011-2020

Main Article Content

Trakul Prommajak
Sasinud Kormartakun
Maneewan Maneekan
Chanita Poraha
Waraporn Kusalaruk
Suwalee Fong-in


Background: The United States of America is the main export market for agro-industrial product of Thailand. The annual export value was not less than 70 billion baht. However, some products were rejected for importation by the US Food and Drug Administration due to violations of food safety laws.

Objective: To analyze statistics and causes for the import refusal of Thai food by the US Food and Drug Administration during 2011–2020.

Methods: The research was a 10-year retrospective study that using the data on rejection of food products imported from Thailand that were exported to the United States between 2011 and 2020 from the Import Refusal Report database of U.S. FDA. Then, the study analysed the trends and reasons for refusing of food products in various groups.

Results: During 2011–2020, U.S. FDA rejected food imports from Thailand at an average of 0.143 percent per year. Import refusal tended to decline. The cause was mainly due to adulterated food at 70.2%. The most refused group was seafood product at 35.78%, mainly due to filths, histamine, lack of HACCP and Salmonella. Followed by fruit products at 23.88%, mainly due to filths, lack of HACCP and pesticides. Spice, condiment, and pastes group at 11.90% was mainly due to pesticides, Salmonella, and filths. Vegetable products group at 8.00% was mainly due to lack of registration of food canning establishment and scheduled process, and misbranding.

Conclusion: The number of U.S FDA food products imported for rejection declined. Biological contamination, as well as incorrect food labels were still common causes for import refusal every year. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration of Thailand should consider auditing food production facilities that the filths were detected to suggest improvement of the facilities. In addition, relevant agencies should be integrated to provide advice on food laws of importing country, especially food labeling, to reduce the rejection rate from the destination country.

Article Details

How to Cite
Prommajak T, Kormartakun S, Maneekan M, Poraha C, Kusalaruk W, Fong-in S. Import Refusal of Thai Food Exported to the United States of America in 2011-2020. TFDJ [Internet]. 2022 Oct. 31 [cited 2024 Jun. 14];29(3):47-61. Available from:
Research Article


กระทรวงพาณิชย์. การค้าไทย [อินเทอร์เน็ต]. 2564 [เข้าถึงเมื่อ 19 พ.ย. 2564]. เข้าถึงจาก:

Kushner GJ, Hermida MG, Eyink BD. United States of America. In: Kirchsteiger-Meier E, Baumgartner T, editors. Global Food Legislation: An Overview. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH; 2014. p. 279–306.

FDA. Import Refusal Report [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2021 Jun 10]. Available from:

Fortin ND. Food Regulation: Law, Science, Policy, and Practice. 2nd ed. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons; 2017.

FSIS. Eligible Foreign Establishments [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 Jul 4]. Available from:

FDA. Imports Entry [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2021 Jan 20]. Available from:

FDA. Food Defect Levels Handbook [Internet]. 2005 [cited 2021 Jul 15]. Available from:

ขันทอง เพ็ชรนอก, กนกวรรณ ตุ้นสกุล. สิ่งแปลกปลอมชนิดเบาในผลไม้แห้ง. วารสารอาหารและยา 2564;28(2):51–8.

Bovay J. FDA Refusals of Imported Food Products by Country and Category, 2005-2013. Economic Information Bulletin No. 151 [Internet]. United States Department of Agriculture. 2016 [cited 2022 Jun 27]. Available from:

Wen X, Yang Z, Dong H, Fan X, Wang Y. Barriers to sustainable food trade: China’s exports food rejected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration 2011–2017. Sustain. 2018;10(6):1712.

ตระกูล พรหมจักร, สุวลี ฟองอินทร์. การแจ้งเตือนด้านความปลอดภัยของอาหารไทยที่ส่งออกไปยังสหภาพยุโรป ปี 2553 – 2562. วารสารอาหารและยา 2564;28(3):45–57.

กรมวิชาการเกษตร. การออกใบรับรองคุณภาพสินค้าเกษตรแปรรูปด้านพืชประกอบการส่งออก [อินเทอร์เน็ต]. 2561 [เข้าถึงเมื่อ 19 ม.ค. 2565]. เข้าถึงจาก:เอกสารเผยแพร่-เรื่อง-การออกใบรับรองคุณภาพสินค้าเกษตร.pdf

กรมประมง. เงื่อนไขการตรวจรับรองและการออกใบรับรองสุขอนามัยตามประเทศที่มีข้อกำหนด [อินเทอร์เน็ต]. 2559 [เข้าถึงเมื่อ 19 ม.ค. 2565]. เข้าถึงจาก:เงื่อนไขการตรวจรับรองและการออกใบรับรองสุขอนามัยตามประเทศที่มีข้อกำหนด.pdf

FDA. Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 Jul 16]. Available from:

Loi G, Gamarro EG. Border rejection trends of fishery and aquaculture products in European Union, United States of America and Japan. FAO Aquac Newsl. 2018;(58):44–6.

Olgunoğlu İA. Salmonella in Fish and Fishery Products. In: Mahmoud BSM, editor. Salmonella - A Dangerous Foodborne Pathogen. London: IntechOpen; 2012. p. 91-108.

FDA. Summary of Color Additives for Use in the United States in Foods, Drugs, Cosmetics, and Medical Devices [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 Nov 18]. Available from:

Harp BP, Barrows JN. US regulation of color additives in foods. In: Scotter MJ, editor. Colour Additives for Foods and Beverages. Oxford: Woodhead Publishing; 2015. p. 75–88.

FDA. Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2019 Aug 10]. Available from:

Gale F, Buzby JC. Imports from China and food safety issues. Economic Information Bulletin Number 52 [Internet]. United States Department of Agriculture. 2009 [cited 2022 Jun 27]. Available from:

Zhou J, Wang Y, Mao R. Dynamic and spillover effects of USA import refusals on China’s agricultural trade: Evidence from monthly data. Agric Econ. 2019;65(9):425–34.

FDA. Food Allergies [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 Nov 8]. Available from:

Timbo B, Koehler KM, Wolyniak C, Klontz KC. Sulfites-A Food and Drug Administration Review of Recalls and Reported Adverse Events. J Food Prot [Internet]. 2004;67(8):1806–11.

Khan M, Lively JA. Determination of sulfite and antimicrobial residue in imported shrimp to the USA. Aquac Reports. 2020;18:100529.

FDA. Establishment Registration & Process Filing for Acidified and Low-Acid Canned Foods (LACF) [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2021 Nov 17]. Available from:

Buzby JC, Unnevehr LJ, Roberts D. Food Safety and Imports: An Analysis of FDA Food-Related Import Refusal Reports. Economic Information Bulletin Number 39 [Internet]. United States Department of Agriculture. 2008 [cited 2022 Jun 27]. Available from: