In an article published on July 4, 2018, by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, reporter Tammy Lovell informed about regulations on food contact materials (FCMs) in the UK after the country leaves the EU.

The UK trade group Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) has lobbied the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) to transfer EU FCM regulations into UK law in order to maintain the same level of protection for British consumers and to ensure regulatory consistency because many FPA members sell their products in the EU. The EU FCM framework Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 and the few regulations on specific types of FCMs, such as plastics and ceramics, “will become part of UK law via the EU Withdrawal Bill, which will transpose directly applicable pieces of EU legislation,” Lovell explained. However, most types of FCMs, such as printing inks, paper and board, varnishes and coatings, are not harmonized across the EU.

After leaving the EU, the mutual recognition principle for non-harmonized FCMs will no longer apply to the UK. According to the principle, “FCMs consisting of non-harmonised materials can move freely in the EU if they comply with the national laws of the member state where they were first placed on the market,” Lovell described. Thus, the UK could “adopt new legislation going beyond the EU minimum requirements and that might seek to improve the protection of health and the environment (or domestic producers), or boost innovation,” Ales Bartl of law firm Jones Day suggested. The FPA however would be “opposed to any changes made on the basis of political gain rather than scientific evidence.” Michael Warhurst of UK non-profit organization CHEM Trust stated: “FCM is a mess at the European level. I don’t have much confidence that the UK would do anything more.” The FSA added that there are no plans to amend the current EU FCM legislation once transferred into UK law.

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Tammy Lovell (July 4, 2018). “UK must follow EU FCM legislation after Brexit, says trade group.Chemical Watch