SAFEGUARDS | Hardlines & Food NO. 063/16

SafeGuardS baby with milk bottle

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has recently circulated a notification announcing a proposal from the EU to strengthen the migration limit for Bisphenol A (BPA) in food contact plastics and to expand the scope of this new limit to food contact varnished or coated materials and articles. The effective date is proposed to be in March 2017.

On March 14, 2016, the WTO circulated notification document number 16-1443 [1] announcing a draft regulation from the European Union (EU) on the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food contact materials and articles. The draft regulation has a number of important changes, including:

  • Strengthening the migration limit of BPA from 0.6 mg/kg to 0.05 mg/kg under Regulation (EC) 10/2011 (The ‘Food Contact Plastics’ Regulation)

  • Expanding the migration limit of 0.05 mg/kg for BPA to varnished or coated materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

  • Requiring a written declaration of conformity (DOC) for varnished or coated materials and articles in accordance with Annex I of the Regulation.

The prohibition of BPA in polycarbonate infant feeding bottles remains unchanged.

BPA is used in the manufacture of plastic food contact materials and articles and extensively in epoxy resins for varnishes and coatings, particularly in food cans and tins. The proposed revision to the migration limit of BPA is due to new scientific data on toxicokinetics.

According to the notification, the regulation is proposed to be adopted and published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU) in September 2016. The proposed effective date is March 2017; 6 months after date of entry into force of the Regulation.

Highlights of a comparison on BPA migration in the Draft Regulation and Regulation (EC) 10/2011 are summarised in Table 1

Table 1

Draft Regulation on the use of BPA in varnishes and coatings intended to come into contact with food and amending Regulation (EC) 10/2011 on BPA in plastic food contact materials
Substance Citation Scope Requirement (migration) Effective Date
BPA Regulation (EC) 10/2011 Food contact plastic materials and articles ≤ 0.6 mg/kg In force since Jan 2013
Draft Regulation to amend Regulation (EC) 10/2011 ≤ 0.05 mg/kg Proposed March 2017
Draft Regulation on the use of BPA Varnished or coated materials and articles intended to come into contact with food ≤ 0.05 mg/kg Proposed March 2017

SGS technical experts have extensive knowledge and testing experience in materials and articles in contact with food. They work to ensure that your products meet the appropriate regulations for food contact materials and pave the way for compliance. From overall migration test to expert advices on emerging regulations and compliance issues and documentation review, SGS is the partner to trust. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information or visit our website.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hing Wo Tsang
Global Hardlines
t: +852 2774 7420

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