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FCM Requiring Designated Labs and or Certification

Food contact materials and articles (FCMs) destined for certain markets are required to be tested by designated (approved) laboratories and/or certified by Certification Bodies before they can access these important markets.

These procedures provide formal recognition to competency that independently and impartially verify compliance to a standard or regulation to allow economic operators to access these highly controlled but important markets.

In the Asia Pacific Region, Japan requires foreign laboratories to be designated in order to conduct testing on FCM (and other products) under the Japan Food Sanitation Act (JFSA) for formal acceptance by its quarantine stations. China requires FCM to be tested by laboratories accredited by the China National Accreditation Services (CNAS) and China Metrology Accreditation (CMA), whilst neighboring Republic of Korea (South Korea) requires laboratories to be approved by the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

In the Americas, food contact glass and ceramics destined for Colombia and Mexico are required to undergo certification before these products can be released on to their respective markets. Similarly, certification is required for melamine dinnerware products and vacuum Thermos flasks (including cups) to Kuwait, and FCM to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Saudi Arabia.

The laws and standards for certain important markets requiring designated laboratories and/or certification of food contact goods are summarized in Table 1.

China China Food Safety Law, April 2015

GB 4806 ‘General Safety requirements on Food Contact Materials and Articles’ and a corresponding series of mandatory standards for products and methods
Food contact materials and articles
ColombiaResolution No. 1440/2021Ceramics and glass
IndiaFood Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations, 2018 Portable Water Bottles (Quality Control) Order, 2023 Cookware and Utensils (Quality Control) Order, 2023 Food contact materials and articles
Portable water bottles (copper, stainless steel, aluminum)
Stainless steel cookware, wrought aluminum utensils, stainless steel sinks for domestic purposes, round open top sanitary cans for foods and drinks – tinplate, and aluminum cans for beverages
JapanAct No. 233 of 24 December 1947 ‘Japan Food Sanitation Act’, Chapter III ‘Apparatus, Containers and Packaging’
Food contact materials and articles
KuwaitKuwait Conformity Assurance Scheme Guidelines QW-750-21
Melamine dinnerware, vacuum Thermos flasks (including cups)
MexicoNOM-231-SSA1-2016Glazed pottery, glazed ceramics, porcelain and glassware
Saudi ArabiaSASO GSO 2231 ‘General Requirements for the Materials Intended to Come into Contact with Food’
Food contact materials and articles
South Korea Food Sanitation Act

Standards and Specifications for Utensils, Containers and Packaging for Food Products (Chapter 7 of the Korean Food Code)
Food contact materials and articles
Taiwan Act Governing Food Sanitation

Sanitation standards for food utensils, containers and packages
Food contact materials and articles
Thailand Food Act, B.E. 2522 (1979)

Export and Import of Goods Act, B.E. 2522 (1979) for ceramics and metal-coated tableware

Thai Industrial Standards (TIS) – mandatory and voluntary standards for specific materials or products

Food contact materials and articles
United Arab EmiratesCabinet Resolution No 20 of 2015 ‘UAE Scheme to Control Food Contact Materials’
Food contact materials and articles
Vietnam Food Safety Law (No. 55/2010/QH12)

Technical standards/Regulations including QCVN 12-1:2011/BYT ‘Plastics’
Food contact materials and articles

Table 1.

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