Food Law News - EU - 2010

FSA Letter, 22 April 2010

CONTACT MATERIALS - New Draft Commission Regulation on Imported Food Contact Materials from China – For Information

A copy of the letter which includes a copy of the draft Commission Regulation is available on this site. See FSA Letter

The European Commission has proposed a new regulation relating to the importation of specific plastic kitchen ware from the Peoples Republic of China and Hong Kong into Member States.

This was in response to several alerts raised via the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) - pursuant to Article 50 of Regulation 178/2002 – on Food Contact Materials coming from China and feedback from Member States in July 2009 which were subsequently confirmed by two Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) missions to China.

This draft Regulation applies specifically to nylon kitchen ware and melamine ware. Nylon kitchen ware originating in or consigned from, China and Hong Kong has been found to release high levels of primary aromatic amines (PAA) into foods. PAAs are a family of compounds some of which are carcinogenic and could potentially pose health risk to consumers. Furthermore, melamine ware originating in or consigned from China and Hong Kong has been found to release formaldehyde into foods at levels higher than 15mg/kg as authorised under Directive 2002/72/EC, as amended.

You may wish to note that Article 48(2) of Regulation 882/2004, as amended, provides for the imposition of specific import conditions on particular products coming from certain third countries depending on the risks associated with these products.

The UK intends to apply Article 27 of OFFC Regulation 882/2004/EC such that costs for the conditions imposed by this regulation will be borne by the importers of the kitchen ware concerned.

The key aspects of this draft regulation are as follows:

Each consignment shall be accompanied by an attestation with, basically, the same information as the Declaration of Compliance (DoC) required under Directive 2002/72/EC as amended.

50% of all consignments shall be sampled and analysed. Nylon kitchenware shall be tested for PAA migration- with detection limit set at 0.1mg/kg while melamine kitchenware shall be tested for formaldehyde migration expected not to exceed 15 mg/kg food

It is proposed that the Regulation shall come into force on 01 January, 2011.

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