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Regulatory Information

Asia-Pacific Food Contact Regulations

Australia and New Zealand

The joint Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code regulates food-contact materials. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) develops standards under the Code to regulate foods jointly in both countries. Under the Code manufacturers must ensure that food-contact materials are “Safe and Suitable.” The Code does not contain a list of approved materials, however it does contain maximum contaminant levels for some metals, non-metals, and naturally occurring toxicants.

In addition to the Code, the Standards Association of Australia has adopted standards for specific polymers and additives which are located in AS 2070-1999. FSANZ is currently undertaking a review of the existing standards to determine if they provide adequate protection.

China

The Food Safety Law of 2009 is the basis for all food regulations in China. Standards for food contact substances have been developed in GB 9685, which are supplemented by industrial and local standards. The requirements for coatings have been updated and are effective beginning October 1, 2015. The structure of the standards published to date is similar to those in the EU, requiring the use of approved substances or monomers for polymers AND compliance with total and specific migration limits.

Migration test methods for various food-contact material categories are contained in GB/T 5009. Testing standards for coatings have been developed in parallel to those under GB 9685 and cover different intended uses and food types. These standards are effective October 1, 2015.

India

Food-contact materials are regulated under the Food Safety and Standard Act which was last updated in 2011. The regulatory framework consists of a combination of regulations and industry standards. Regulations are published by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) whose primary focus is on foodstuffs; however they have issued some regulations covering materials contacting foods. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) develops standards for specific materials. The primary focus of the BIS Standards is on plastics materials and additives following the EU regulatory model found in 10/2011 EC.

Japan

The regulatory framework for food-contact materials consists of a combination of regulations and industry standards. Regulations are published under the Food Sanitation Law which is administered by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW). The Law contains general safety standards that include food-packaging materials and equipment. MHLW is authorized to establish specifications, including migration limits, for containers and packaging. These standards may also regulate raw materials used in the manufacture of food contact articles. General standards addressing all containers have been published requiring that materials used are not toxic or harmful substances that could be deleterious to human health. No specific requirements have been developed for coatings.

Industry standards have been developed by industry associations covering various plastics materials. These standards are voluntary and none have been developed covering coatings.

South Korea

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) is responsible for implementing the requirements of the Food Sanitation Act. The Act contains requirements that food- contact materials be free of substances harmful to human health. MFDS has published additional requirements for packaging, but none is specific to coatings for cookware. Compliance with US FDA regulations is generally accepted as adequate.

Taiwan

The Department of Health regulates food-contact materials under Sanitation Standards for Food Utensils, Containers, and Packaging. These Standards cover the finished article and not the materials used to manufacture the article and include migration limits for plastics and colorants, but do not address coatings directly.

ASEAN Countries

The ASEAN Economic Community Countries have established the Asian Food Safety Network as an expert group on food safety issues. Activities within this group are managed through the Prepared Foodstuff Working Group which is primarily focused on foodstuffs and not food contact materials. With the exception of the countries noted below, the regulations in these countries require that materials used in food “do no harm” without specifically regulating coating or food-contact materials.

  • Indonesia has developed regulations on food packaging, including positive and negative lists for plastics. These regulations are based on US FDA, Japanese JETRO and EU 10/2011 regulations/standards.
  • Malaysia has developed regulations on food packaging that prohibit the release of certain heavy metals and toxic substances.
  • Philippines accepts food-contact materials compliant with either the US FDA regulations or the Japanese Food Safety Law.
  • Singapore has issued Food Safety Regulations which contain specific requirements for containers used in preparing, storing, or cooking food. These regulations prohibit the release of certain heavy metals and toxic substances.

Eurasian Economic Commission

The Eurasian Economic Community Customs Union consists of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The Technical Regulation on Safety of Packaging (TR CU 05/2011) contains requirements for polymers and metals intended for contact with food. They include specific requirements for nonstick cookware, covering both the fluoropolymer and pigments. Specific migration limits are contained in the standard.

 

 
 
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