EU authorities have agreed to launch an action plan to ensure unauthorized food contact plastics containing bamboo and other plant-based additives are no longer placed on the market.

SAFEGUARDS | HardgoodsNO. 106/21

 SG 10621 Bambooware

In March 2021, we informed you that several European Union (EU) Member States had announced the prohibition of food contact bamboo-melamine plastics (SafeGuardS 30/21). Importers who wish to bring such products into the EU must submit an authorization dossier according to Regulation (EC) 1935/2004, the Food Contact Framework Regulation. 

The European Commission (EC) website has announced the “EU enforcement action on food contact materials (FCM) made of bamboo ‘powder’”. According to that announcement, the majority of the 2019 to May 2021 notifications on FCM containing bamboo fibers from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) were related to the unauthorized use of bamboo additives as a filler and/or the mislabeling of products by falsely declaring them to be made of 100% bamboo. In addition to illustrative examples of products, there are several Q&As offering helpful information on the topic. 

The announcement stresses that food contact plastics may only be produced using thoroughly assessed substances such as additives, monomers and polymer production aids that are authorized in accordance with Article 5 of Regulation (EU) 10/2011 (Union list, Annex I, consolidated version to September 2020). Additionally, food contact plastics containing bamboo and other plant-based additives that are not in the Union list and not authorized are illegal.  Although there has been an increase in communication and RASFF notifications, the EC and EU Member States are aware of the continuing sale of these illegal products. 

In May 2021, the EC, EU Member States and Members of the EU Food Fraud Network agreed to launch an EU enforcement action plan to ensure the following:

  • Food contact plastics containing plant-based additives that do not comply with EU rules are to be rejected at borders and prohibited from entering the EU market
  • Tax duties for incorrectly declared plastic products are recovered
  • Member State enforcement and competent authorities to remind business operators about the illegality of these products, including support via e-platforms
  •  Consumers are made aware of health and other issues

The EC will also assist EU Member States in ensuring these products are no longer placed on the EU market. 

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, paving the way for compliance. From overall migration tests to expert advice on emerging regulations, compliance issues and documentation review, SGS is the partner to trust. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Discover more on our website and read our brochure.

For inquiries, please contact:

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

Dr. Udo Krischke
Global Technical Manager RSTS
t: +49 6128 744 235

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