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The Netherlands Strengthens Requirements for Food Contact Materials and Articles

SafeGuardSHardgoods, Food Contact MaterialAugust 02, 2022

SG 092.22

The Netherlands has published an amendment to its Commodities Act on packaging and consumer articles. The new law became effective on July 1, 2022 

In April 2022, the Netherlands issued Regulation of the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport of April 26, 2022, 3348384-1027396-VGP (the Amendment), to revise the nation’s Commodities Act on packaging and consumer articles that come into contact with food (Commodities Act on packaging and consumer articles, Commodities Act). This comprehensive amendment contains important changes to several Chapters in the Commodities Act. 

Highlights of changes in the Amendment are summarized in Tables 1 and 2. It is interesting to note that the (relatively high) specific migration limit (SML) for lead remains at no more than 0.1 mg/kg in food contact glass and glass ceramics (Chapter V) as the European Commission is working on legislation that will also include a SML for lead in these types of material. 

Government Gazette, 11934, April 29, 2022
Regulation of the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport of April 26, 2022, 3348384-1027396-VGP, amending
the Commodities Act Regulations on packaging and consumer articles in connection with the removal and
addition of substances to Part A of the Annex and some technical amendments
Chapter/Section
Highlights of Change
Chapter I ‘Plastics’
Table I-1
Revises positive list of substances which may still be used at the national level for the manufacture of plastics, including 19 new entries
Chapter II ‘Paper and cardboard’
§1.1 and 1.2.1
  • New definition for paper and cardboard
  • Defines the materials to be used for manufacturing
Chapter II ‘Paper and cardboard’
§1.2.2r
Modifies the list of excipients as auxiliary materials and finishing agents, by deleting several entries associated with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
Chapter II ‘Paper and cardboard’
§1.3.3
  • New requirements for the specific migration of the following substances:
    • ≤ 1 mg/kg aluminum
    • ≤ 0.01 mg/kg dibutyl diacetate (as dibutyltin, DBT)
    • ≤ 5.0 mg/kg zinc
Chapter II ‘Paper and cardboard’
§2 and 2.1
Renames title to ‘Paper and cardboard intended for hot use (use as cooking packaging) and for filtering drinkware at temperatures above 80 °C’ with a new description
Chapter II ‘Paper and cardboard’
Table to §2.3.2
  • Expands the number of chemicals in the specific migration list by including the following substances:
    • ≤ 1 mg/kg aluminum
    • ≤ 5.0 mg/kg zinc
Chapter III ‘Rubber’
§4.2 Substances which may be used in the manufacture of rubber products’
Table to §5.7
  • Revises the positive list of substances
  • Expands the number of chemicals in the specific migration list from 5 to 7 by including the following specifications for each of category I and II products:
    • ≤ 1 mg/kg aluminum
    • ≤ 5.0 mg/kg zinc
Chapter IV ‘Metals’
§2.1c ‘Metallic coatings’
Strengthens restriction of total lead:
  • ≤ 0.01% (from 0.05%)
Chapter IV ‘Metals’
Table to §4.3 ‘Specific migration’
Revises the list of chemicals for specific migration to include the following:
  • ≤ 5 mg/kg aluminum
  • ≤ 0.01 mg/kg lead¹ (from 0.1 mg/kg)
  • ≤ 0.14 mg/kg nickel
  • ≤ 5 mg/kg zinc
  • ≤ 2 mg/kg zirconium¹˒²
Chapter V “Glass and glass ceramics’
Table to §4.2 ‘Specific migration’
New set of requirements (see Table 2 below)
Chapter VII ‘Textiles’
Table to §3.2 ‘Specific migration’
New requirements for the specific migration of the following substances:
  • ≤ 1 mg/kg aluminum
  • ≤ 5 mg/kg zinc
Chapter X ‘Coatings’
  • Revises the positive list
  • New requirements for the specific migration of the following substances (Table to § 12.3 under ‘Polytetrafluoroethylene, intended for use as a coating, insofar as this is heated to a maximum of 140 °C or 230 °C when used in accordance with the intended purpose):
    • ≤ 1 mg/kg aluminum
    • ≤ 0.01 mg/kg sum of dibutyltin dilaurate and dibutyltin oxide (as dibutyl tin, DBT)
    • ≤ 5.0 mg/kg zinc
Chapter XI ‘Dyes and pigments’Revises Table to contain the specific migration of 16 metals in §4a ‘Requirements for colored finished product’, including new requirements for the following substances:
  • ≤ 1 mg/kg aluminum
  • ≤ 0.01 mg/kg lead
  • ≤ 5 mg/kg zinc
Chapter XII ‘Epoxy polymers’Revises Table to §3.3 to include the specific migration of following substance:
  • ≤ 5 mg/kg zinc
¹ Not applicable to tin-plated steel sheet used as food packaging
² For passivated metals that (may) come into contact with acidic foods, compliance with the SML for zirconium must be demonstrated in the food itself, otherwise in 1.5% citric acid

Table 1

Chapter V ‘Glass and glass ceramics’, Table to §4.2 ‘Specific migration requirements for finished product’
Substance
Specific Migration Limit (SML, mg/kg)
Antimony0.04
Arsenic0.01
Barium1
Boron1
Cadmium0.01
Cerium1
Chromium0.1
Fluorine1
Cobalt0.05
Lithium0.6
Lead0.1
Manganese0.6
Nickel0.02
Rubidium1
Zirconium2

Table 2. SML for glass and glass ceramics

The Amendment became effective on July 1, 2022.

According to the Amendment, food contact materials and articles that comply with the Commodities Act as it reads on June 30, 2022, and were placed on the market before January 1, 2023, may remain on the market until stocks are exhausted. This six-month transitional period does not apply to paper and paperboard coatings containing specified PFAS chemicals. Such coatings are currently not found on the Dutch market and should not be accepted during the transitional period.

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.

For enquiries, please contact:

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

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