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Switzerland Strengthens Regulation on Food Contact Materials and Articles

Photo: Kitchenwares
Photo: Kitchenwares

In December 2016, the Swiss Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (FSVO), [Bundesamt für Lebensmittelsicherheit und Veterinärwesen (BLV)], announced an amendment to the legislation on food safety that includes food contact materials and articles (FCMs), toys, cosmetics and other consumer goods. The Consumer Goods Regulation of the Federal Department of Home Affairs [Bedarfsgegenständeverordnung Verordnung des Eidgenössischen Departements des Innern (EDI)] relating to Regulation of the EDI on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food establishes requirements for 10 groups of FCMs. These are active and intelligent materials, ceramics, glass, enamels and similar articles, metals and alloys, paper and cardboards, paraffins, waxes and dyes, plastics (which also includes epoxy resins), printing inks, recycled plastics, regenerated cellulose films and silicones.

Under the law, FCMs are to be manufactured using good manufacturing practices so that they do not transfer their constituents to food in quantities which could endanger:

  • Human health, or
  • Bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food, or
  • Bring about a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics of the food

The Swiss law on FCMs contains a number of important provisions, which includes:

  • Utilizing the migration limits for lead and cadmium in ceramics from Directive 84/500/EEC for food contact ceramics, glass, enamel and similar materials
  • Adopting the specific migration limits for eight heavy metals (aluminium, barium. cobalt, copper, iron, lithium, manganese and zinc) in plastics from Regulation (EU) 2016/1416, amending Regulation (EC) 10/2011
  • Adopting test conditions for overall and specific migrations for plastics from Regulation (EC) 10/2011 of January 14, 2011
  • Requirements for epoxy resins – these are under the scope of plastics
  • Prohibiting the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in polycarbonate baby bottles

The amendment contains two effective dates:

  • May 1, 2017 for the Regulation on food contact materials and articles except for the prohibition of bisphenol A (BPA) in polycarbonate baby bottles
  • May 1, 2018 for the prohibition of BPA in polycarbonate baby bottles

Highlights of the Swiss law on food contact materials and articles are summarized in table below.

Table: Regulation of the EDI relating to food contact materials
Table: Regulation of the EDI relating to food contact materials

Note: DoC is the abbreviation of Declaration of Compliance, and CMRs stand for Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Reprotoxic.

The following legislation and Annexes in German, French or Italian can be downloaded from the Consumer Goods Section (Gebrauchsgegenstände) of Regulations and Explanations, Food Law 2017, in the FSVO website:

  • Ordinance on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (Consumer Goods Regulation)
  • Annex 2 "Plastics"
  • Annex 9 "Silicones"
  • Annex 10 "Printing inks"

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.

Email SGS Hong Kong Ltd. at mktg@sgs.com for enquiry or visit www.sgsgroup.com/hk.


Content provided by SGS Hong Kong Limited
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