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  Food Contact Materials - Newsslide

Assessment of the current situation concerning food contact materials for which there are no specific harmonised measures at EU level
Commission Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 is the framework legislation for food contact materials. The purpose of the Regulation is to ensure the effective functioning of the internal market for materials and articles intended to come into contact directly or indirectly with food and secure a high level of protection of human health and the interests of consumers.

The Regulation sets out general safety requirements for all food contact materials under Article 3 as well as a general obligation on good manufacturing practice (GMP), the rules for which are laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006. Specific measures for groups of materials and articles may also be introduced. Specific EU measures are in place for plastics, processes for recycled plastics, regenerated cellulose film, lead and cadmium in ceramics and active and intelligent materials and articles.

In the absence of specific EU measures, Member States may maintain or adopt their own national provisions on food contact materials. National legislation is in place in the majority of EU Member States, setting out individual rules on different materials and substances. These may differ from one Member State to another.

According to some stakeholders, such differences introduce inconsistencies in the approach to regulating food contact materials and can hinder the free movement of those materials and articles within the internal market.

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) is currently carrying out a study in order to provide a comprehensive description of the current situation concerning food contact materials for which there are no specific measures at EU level (see below for a summary of the administrative arrangement).

This "baseline" study will map the current industry supply chain and collect and organise information on the current national measures or other measures in place for these materials. This information will allow the European Commission to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the current situation, including the benefits as well as the administrative burdens and costs of the existing situation on businesses.

The study, which was launched in the latter part of 2014, is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of 2016. Thereafter, the Commission will evaluate the results and consider what, if any, possible steps need to be taken in the future concerning the regulation of food contact materials in the EU.

For further information, please email the Food Contact Materials team in DG SANTE:

Summary of Administrative Arrangement


FCM Foresight Project


Support DG SANTE policy in establishing a baseline of the current situation concerning food contact materials for which there are no specific EU harmonised measures


15 months


Materials listed in Framework Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004, which are not subject to specific harmonised measures at EU level. Includes all stages of the food contact materials supply chain: starting materials, intermediates and final materials and articles as well as combinations of materials. The study will incorporate both materials already in contact with food and those not yet in contact with food, including food processing equipment.

Specific tasks

Work package 1: Existing measures
To provide a compilation of regulatory frameworks at national level, provisions on good manufacturing practices, industry codes of practice and guidance documents, information from industry and Member States as regards food contact materials for which there are no specific harmonised measures at EU level.
Work package 2: Market overview information
To provide information on the different supply chains involved for each of the materials for which there are no specific harmonised measures at EU level, the actors involved in the different supply chains, the volumes and values of the different markets, sizes of businesses and the apportionment of the market for different materials and articles.
Work package 3: Information tabulation
To provide data (figures and estimates, where appropriate), analytical and descriptive inputs presented in a format that facilitates the analysis and use of the data.
Work package 4: Analysis of the baseline
This part will analyse the data gathered in work packages 1 and 2 and which are compiled in work package 3. This will include an analysis of the efficiency and effectiveness of the measures, identifying potential barriers to trade and costs and impacts of the measures.


Inception report
Interim report
Final report



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