Industry Guidance on Food Contact Paper Updated
European paper and board manufacturers have released an updated guidance document on how to meet safety standards for paper and board products used in food contact applications. Originally published in 2010 and updated in 2012, “Food Contact Guidelines for the Compliance of Paper and Board Materials and Articles,” provides a methodology for demonstrating the suitability of paper and board materials and articles for food contact applications under European Union (EU) and Member State legislation. The voluntary guidelines were prepared by the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), in cooperation with the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment, Cepi ContainerBoard, the International Confederation of Paper and Board Converters in Europe (CITPA), European Tissue Symposium, European Carton Makers Association, European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO).
The guidelines include information on core requirements (such as supply chain communication and compliance requirements) and testing for compliance (including for intentionally added substances (IAS) and non-intentionally added substances (NIAS)).
There is no specific harmonized EU measure which regulates food contact paper and board. Hence, at the EU level, only the general requirements applicable to all food contact materials set out in the Framework Regulation (EC) 1935/2004, and in Regulation (EC) No. 2023/2006 on good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food apply to paper and board. However, an evaluation of how food contact materials, including paper and board, should be regulated in the EU is currently underway. For more information on the evaluation, see the PackagingLaw.com article, European Commission Opens Public Consultation on the Evaluation of FCMs.)
Angelika Christ, Secretary General of FEFCO, commented on the current EU regulatory framework for food contact paper and board in a press release on the revised guidance document. She stated, “The lack of a specific EU wide measure for paper and board, including tissue, has created a disadvantage in the market because compliance for these materials is perceived to be less clear than for plastics in contact with food. Whenever the European Commission decides to choose paper and board as its next priority for regulation, the guidelines could be used as a starting point.”