International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS), its relevant subsequent World health Assembly Resolutions(the Code.)

The International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes (the Code) was adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May 21 1981.

Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutesand subsequent relevant WHA resolutions (the Code)through enactment and enforcement of robust national legal measures is essential to ensure that parents and other caregivers are protected from inappropriate and misleading information.

Article 11.1 requires Governments to TAKE ACTIONS to give effects to the principles and aims of the code, as appropriate to their social and legislative framework, including the adoption of national or other suitable measures.

“…In view of the vulnerability of infants in early months of life and the risk involved in inappropriate feeding practices, including the unnecessary and improper use of breastmilk substitutes, the marketing of breastmilk substitutes requires special treatment, which makes usual marketing practices unsuitable for these products”- Code Preamble.

This report provides updated information on the status of implementing the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (BMS) and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions (“the Code”) in countries. It presents the legal status of the Code, including to what extent its provisions have been incorporated in national legal measures.

WHO, UNICEF and IBFAN collected information from their regional and country offices on new or additional legal measures adopted by 194 countries since 2018. They also assessed the status of the Code implementation, monitoring and enforcement in relation to the Code



  1. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240006010