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EURL-NRL network for food contact materials

Millions of tests checking the quality of food contact materials are performed in Europe every year. The results of these tests influence important decisions, i.e. compliance or non-compliance with legislation, for industry and food safety control. Testing results shall therefore be reliable and comparable throughout the European Union. This can only be realised through harmonisation, validation and standardisation of test methods.

In 2004 Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official feed and food controls established the JRC as European Union Reference Laboratory for Food Contact Materials (EURL-FCM). The prime role of our EURL-FCM is building confidence in the comparability of measurements of official control laboratories that test compliance of food contact materials in the European Union. The Regulation uses a two-step approach to achieve this goal.

The JRC, with its EURL-FCM coordinates a network with national reference laboratories (NRLs) that are nominated by the Member States. This EURL-NRL network is composed of the EURL-FCM, the NRLs and representatives of Directorate General Health and Consumers of the European Commission. Second, the NRLs form a network with their national official control laboratories. In this network the NRL has a similar role as the EURL in the EURL-NRL network.