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Denmark has published new legislation to prohibit PFAS chemicals in paper and board food packaging. The new law will become effective on July 1, 2020

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer ProductsNO. 073/20

 SG 07320 Paper Container

In September 2019, the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food announced its intention to ban per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, also known as PFAS chemicals) in food contact paper and board materials and articles (SafeGuardS 143/19). PFAS are a group of industrial chemicals which include more than 4,700 individual substances. They endanger human health and, due to their persistency, accumulate in the environment. The most prominent ones are perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

On May 27, 2020, Denmark published Order No. 681 of May 25, 2020 ‘Executive Order on Food Contact Materials and Penal Code for Violation of Related EU Acts’ in its Official Gazette (Lovtidende A) to prohibit PFAS chemicals in food contact paper and board materials and articles. This new Order contains, inter alia, several important changes:

  • Addition of definition for paper and board materials and articles made of cellulose-based natural fibers from virgin and recycled sources, and may contain artificial fibers, functional additives, processing agents, polymeric binders, inks, lacquers, coatings and adhesives
  • Prohibiting PFAS chemicals in food contact paper and board materials, but these are allowed subject to having a functional barrier in the product to prevent PFAS chemicals migration into food
  • Allowing a transitional period for PFAS-containing food contact paper and board materials that are placed on the market before the effective date of July 1, 2020 
  • Editorial changes and deleting Appendix 7 ‘List of Appendices’

The new Order does not include a limitation on which substances are not in the scope of the PFAS chemicals ban. It also does not specify which migration limits would be acceptable for the legitimately of PFAS chemicals containing materials having a functional barrier. 

The new Order repeals Order No. 1248 of October 30, 2018 on ‘Food Contact Materials’.

Highlights of new Order No. 681 of May 25, 2020 are summarized in Table 1.

ORDER NO. 681 OF MAY 25, 2020 ON FOOD CONTACT MATERIALS AND PENAL CODE FOR VIOLATION OF RELATED EU ACTS
LOVTIDENDE A, MAY 27, 2020
Substance Scope Requirement Effective Date
PFAS Chemicals Food contact paper and board materials and articles
Prohibited
July 1, 2020*
*Food contact paper and board materials and articles not meeting the PFAS prohibition requirements but meeting the general safety 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 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:

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

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