In a notification published by the European Commission on August 17, 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) announced an updated version of the 22nd ordinance amending the country’s Consumer Goods Ordinance concerning the use of recycled paper in manufacturing food contact materials (FCMs). To prevent the migration of mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH), the amended ordinance would require the use of a functional barrier in FCMs manufactured using recycled paper. An exemption to this requirement would be granted if the manufacturer can demonstrate that MOAH migration does not take place above 0.5 mg MOAH/kg food or above 0.15 mg MOAH/kg food simulant. A lower detection limit has been applied for food simulants given the more precise analysis that can be carried out. This is an update from an earlier version of the draft ordinance released by BMEL in March 2017 following consultations from the federal states and industry associations (FPF reported).

The notification includes a separate document containing the proposed legal text as well as a completed assessment of implementation costs. Comments are being accepted on the updated draft until November 18, 2020.

Mineral oil hydrocarbons (FPF dossier) including MOAH are generally derived from crude oil and can be made up of mixtures from thousands of different molecules. MOAH mixtures have been found to have mutagenic and carcinogenic properties and therefore pose a risk to human health if present in food. Previous scientific studies and testing campaigns have shown that mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and MOAH levels in food often exceeded 2 and 0.5 mg/kg food, respectively.


European Commission (August 17, 2020). “Twenty-second Ordinance amending the Consumer Goods Ordinance.”

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The National Law Review (September 21, 2020). “Germany Notifies Updated Version of its Draft Mineral Oil Ordinance to the EC.”