State of the Code

World Health Assembly Resolution 63.23 [2010] called on Member States to develop or strengthen legislative, regulatory or other effective measures to control the marketing of breastmilk substitutes in order to give effect to the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes  and relevant subsequent World Health Assembly Resolutions. This call was reiterated in WHA 65.60 [2012].


The 2010 resolution also called on manufacturers and distributors to comply fully with their responsibilities under the Code and resolutions.

In keeping with these recommendations, ICDC reserves this web-page to keep breastfeeding advocates and Code supporters informed of efforts made by countries to give effect to the Code and resolutions for the protection of infant and young child health.


We highlight below the status of the Code in countries in South East Asia and will continue to provide updates from within the region and elsewhere around the world. To keep this page up-to-date, we welcome input and comments from our visitors. We also welcome enquiries from governments and public interest groups.

South-East Asia Country Status of the Code Update
Brunei  Some provisions voluntary Country has a 5 year plan encompassing capacity building, advocacy and translating the international Code as a national measure.
Cambodia Many provisions law UN agencies and civil society are calling for the establishment of an oversight board to monitor and enforce sub decree 133 which regulates the promotion of breastmilk substitues. 
Hong Kong Some provisions voluntary Draft voluntary Code pending approval since 2014.
Lao PDR Few provisions law  National Assembly to strenghten existing national measure by adopting a nutrition law incorporating elements of the International Code.
Malaysia Voluntary Code  Code review completed in 2015. Adoption of new Code pending. Breastfeeding groups pushing for law.
Thailand Law 

On 6 April 2017, the Thai National Legislative Assembly passed a law to control the promotion of foods for infant and young children. ICDC is awaiting the English translation of the law for analysis.

Timor Leste Measure drafted Draft Code incorporated in 2009 Breastfeeding Promotion Policy.
  Myanmar Many provisions law On 24 July 2014, the Myanmar Food and Drugs Board issued the Order of Marketing of Formulated Food for Infants and Young Children under the National Food Law. Regulators looking into enforcement.
Viet Nam Law On 6 November 2014, the Prime Minister signed Decree #100/2014/NDCP on Marketing on Breastmilk Substitutes. There is a distinct improvement over the old Decree. As yet the Law has not been enforced. Regulators have received training on monitoring and enforcement from ICDC.
Viet Nam is now in category 1 and this upgrade is reflected in the State of Code by Country chart 2016.

Elsewhere, ICDC is pleased to announce that two more countries – Armenia and Kuwait – have taken the leap forward to implement the Code as enforcable laws in August and November 2014. Both laws are comprehensive and Kuwait and Armenia will be upgraded to Category 1 (Law) on the IBFAN scale. In Latin America, Bolivia introduced regulations in August 2014 which strenghten the existing law, justifying the country to be upgraded to category 1.

In first half of 2015, Iraq and Jordan adopted laws that give effect to the International Code. Assessment of the translation of both laws reveal that the laws are incomplete and contain weaknesses. Both countries are provisionally placed in Category 3 (Few Provisions Law) on the IBFAN scale.

In the 2nd half of 2015, Kosovo adopted the Law on Protection of Breastfeeding that gives effect to the Code quite effectively. The law is a useful precedent for non EU countries in Europe. Kosovo will be the 40th country to have implemented all or nearly all provisions of the Code as law.