On January 15, 2021, the law firm Keller and Heckman LLP (KH) reported that the United Kingdom’s (UK) Food Standards Agency has published a food contact materials (FCMs) authorization guide. The document outlines the procedure for authorizing new FCMs to be placed on the market in Great Britain (GB) following Brexit.

The guide explains how to apply for authorization of new FCMs and refers to several retained EU regulations. Four categories are considered for authorization of food contact materials with established positive lists and EU regulation: (1) plastic monomers and additives (Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011), (2) active/intelligent materials (Commission Regulation (EC) No 450/2009), (3) recycled plastic processes (Commission Regulation (EC) No 282/2008), and (4) regenerated cellulose film (Commission Directive 2007/42/EC)

Plastic or regenerated cellulose film additives that were authorized by the European Commission (EC) before January 1, 2021, will not need to be reauthorized by the UK authorities to be placed on the market in GB.

However, if an FCM application was submitted to EU authorities before January 1, 2021, but the application process has not been completed, then a new application will need to be submitted to the UK’s Food Standards Agency via their free application service. Applicants will also need to provide a sample to the UK’s National Reference Laboratory (NRL).

Active/intelligent materials and recycled plastics which have not been established in EU legislation may be placed on the market in GB if they meet the requirements of GB’s General Food Law Regulations and any general criteria in FCM legislation.

UK authorities foresee that the processing of respective applications including their risk assessment and establishment of risk management measures will take up to 15 months.

Northern Ireland will continue to follow the EU rules based on the agreements in the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is part of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement of October 17, 2019.

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KH (January 13, 2021). “UK Announces Procedure for Authorization of New FCMs.”

Food Standards Agency (December 31, 2021). “Food contact materials authorisation guidance.”

Food Standards Agency (January 2021). “Apply for a regulated product authorization.”

EC (January 14, 2011). “COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 10/2011 of 14 January 2011 on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (Text with EEA relevance).

EC (May 29, 2009). “COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 450/2009 of 29 May 2009 on active and intelligent materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (Text with EEA relevance).”

EC (March 27, 2008). “COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 282/2008 of 27 March 2008 on recycled plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foods and amending Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006 (Text with EEA relevance).”

EC (June 29, 2007). “OMMISSION DIRECTIVE 2007/42/EC of 29 June 2007 relating to materials and articles made of regenerated cellulose film intended to come into contact with foodstuffs.