In an article published on September 11, 2019, non-governmental organization CHEM Trust wrote about the agreed need for harmonized regulation in the EU for chemicals in other food contact materials (FCMs). This is reported to be one of the most pressing outcomes from multi-stakeholder discussions during the European Commission’s second event regarding the evaluation of EU food contact regulations (FPF reported). An article reviewing the event was published by news provider Chemical Watch on September 12, 2019, and it reported on the same agreed call for harmonized regulation. However, it also outlined stakeholder concerns regarding efficient implementation and enforcement. A unified approach was seen as crucial to simplifying market requirements. However, proper enforcement of non-compliant, third-country importers was highlighted as a concern by industry stakeholders. Making use of existing data from the EU REACH registration system was proposed as an option, including taking inspiration from that framework’s enforcement strategy with set annual targets. This was criticized by some stakeholders citing concerns about confidential business information.

Looking ahead, CHEM Trust writes that they are concerned in particular with a recent press release made by incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, which wrote that “the goal of the new Commission is to make life easier for people and businesses. When the Commission creates new laws and regulations, it will apply the ‘One-in, one-out’ principle to cut red tape.” Another document went on to say that “every legislative proposal creating new burdens should relieve people and businesses of an equivalent existing burden at EU level in the same policy area.” Michael Warhurst, CHEM Trust’s director, commented on the policy approach saying “this arbitrary approach, which has caused problems in the UK, focusses only on business costs and takes no account of health, environment or other benefits of legislation. It was also dismissed by the previous Commission – where is the evidence base for this change, and is there an impact assessment?”

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Michael Warhurst (September 11, 2019). “All stakeholders call for new EU laws on chemicals in food packaging, yet new Commission President proposes “one in one out” rule.” CHEMTrust

Luke Buxton (September 12, 2019). “EU Commission faces pressure to harmonise rules on FCMs.” Chemical Watch