On February 17, 2017 the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) published the summary of the latest meeting of its Technical Expert Group for Food Contact Materials (FCMs). The meeting took place on January 30, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium (FPF reported).

The EC informed that it is currently drafting approximately 120 individual plastic recycling authorization decisions, guidance, as well as the format of the compliance monitoring summary sheet template. The EC highlighted the importance of the decontamination step in plastic recycling processes and noted that evaluation thereof is still ongoing.

DG SANTE will perform in 2017 an ex-post evaluation of the FCM framework regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 to assess the regulation’s efficiency (FPF reported). The project will produce a “staff working document identifying the need for follow-up activities.” The technical expert group discussed a list of detailed questions to determine priority topics for the evaluation. The EC noted that the Joint Research Centre’s baseline study on non-harmonized FCMs (FPF reported) and the European Parliament’s FCM report (see FPF background article) “will serve as a basis to further develop the evaluation project.”

In January 2017 DG SANTE launched a survey to better understand the functioning of the exchange of compliance information in the supply chain (FPF reported). The EC reminded industry that “wide participation in this survey is very important.”

The EC further informed about its initiative on a Union Measure on printed FCMs, foreseeably to be adopted by mid-2018. The measure will address “the printing as well as the printed substrates.” Printed FCMs will be covered “because the final printed material will need to be compliant.” As a basis for the draft Union Measure, the EC will consider the measure on printed FCMs notified by Germany in July 2016 (FPF reported), as well as other national legislation and industry guidelines. Particular focus will be on the establishment of a potential Union list of authorized substances, methods for verification of compliance, and information exchange in the supply chain.

Read more

Technical Expert Group for Food Contact Materials (February 17, 2017). “Summary – Meeting 30 January 2017.(pdf)

DG SANTE (January 30, 2017). “WG food contact materials – Monday 30 January.(pdf)