EU Strengthens Restrictions in Food Contact Items
Food and Agriculture

The EU has strengthened its requirements for bisphenol A (BPA) in ‘food contact plastics’ and ‘food contact varnished or coated products’. The provisions in the law will become effective on September 6, 2018.

On October 2017, the European Union (EU) was proposing to further amend its draft legislation on bisphenol A (BPA) in ‘food contact plastics’ and ‘food contact varnished or coated materials and articles’. That draft piece of legislation would, among other things, extend the prohibition of BPA in polycarbonate (PC) infant feeding bottles to PC drinking cups or bottles for young children.

On February 14, 2018, the EU published Regulation (EU) 2018/213 to further regulate BPA in certain food contact materials and articles. This new law contains, inter alia, the following important changes:

  • Strengthening the migration limit for BPA from 0.6 mg/kg to 0.05 mg/kg in food contact plastics
  • A completely new restriction for BPA in food contact varnished and coated materials and articles
  • A completely new prohibition for BPA in food contact varnished or coated materials and articles for infants and young children for food categories
  • Requiring a declaration of conformity (DoC) for food contact varnished or coated materials and articles
  • Upon request by the authorities, supporting documentation such as test results or other pieces of evidence are to be made available to demonstrate compliance with the DoC

The prohibition of BPA in polycarbonate infant feeding bottles remains unchanged.

According to the latest Commission Regulation, ‘food contact plastics’ and ‘food contact varnished or coated materials and articles’ which were (lawfully) placed on the market before September 6, 2018 may remain on the market until stocks are exhausted.

Major highlights of the new law and their comparison with BPA in food contact plastics and PC infant feeding bottles are summarized in the following table.

Food Contract Items