Denmark has completed a consultation on its draft Ordinance on, among other things, the prohibition of PFAS chemicals in food contact paper and paperboard materials and articles. The provisions are proposed to become effective on July 1, 2020.

SAFEGUARDS | Hardgoods NO. 143/19

Food contact paper

On September 2, 2019, the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food announced its intention to ban on perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, also known as PFAS chemicals) in food contact paper and paperboard materials and articles.

According to the announcement, paper and paperboard materials can be treated with PFAS chemicals to give anti-grease and water properties. These materials can be used in the fast food industry and other food contact items.

On the same day as the announcement, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration launched a public consultation over its draft Ordinance on food contact materials and penalties for violation of EU-related legislation. The consultation, which ended on September 22, 2019, received a number of responses.

The draft Ordinance would repeal Ordinance No. 1248 of October 30, 2018, on food contact materials and articles. It contains, inter alia, several important changes:

  • Addition of a definition for paper and paperboard
  • Inclusion of a ban on PFAS chemicals in food contact paper and paperboard materials – they are allowed if there is a functional barrier in the product to avoid migration into food
  • Inclusion of a transitional provision for food contact paper and paperboard materials and articles that are placed on the market before the effective date

According to the definition in the draft Ordinance, paper and paperboard means materials and articles made of cellulose-based natural fibers from virgin and recycled sources. They can contain artificial fibers, functional additives and other agents, binders, plastic films, ink, varnishes, coatings and glue.

Highlights of the draft Ordinance on PFAS chemicals in food contact paper and paperboard materials are summarized in Table 1.

Draft Ordinance on Food Contact Materials and the Penal Code for Violation of Related EU Legislation
Substance Scope Requirement Effective Date
PFAS chemicals Food contact paper and paperboard materials and articles Prohibited* July 1, 2020**

* PFAS chemicals may be used in food contact paper and paperboard materials and articles provided a functional barrier is in the product to prevent the migration of substances into food

** Food contact paper and paperboard materials and articles meeting the general requirements in Regulation (EC) 1935/2004 and placed on the market before July 1, 2020, may remain on the market until stocks are exhausted

Table 1.

SGS is committed to providing information about development in regulations for consumer products as complimentary services. Through a global network of laboratories, SGS provides a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
t: (+852) 2774 7420

Stay on top of regulatory changes within your industry: subscribe to SafeGuardS!

Read more articles for the Consumer Goods and Retail industry

© SGS Group Management SA - 2019 - All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties’ contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided “as is” and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS’s prior written consent.