Global Food Contact Regulatory Updates – First half of year 2020

Global Food Contact Regulation Updates

The safety of food package is as important as the food. Government agencies around the world regulate food contact materials and food package to ensure, when used in contact with food, food contact materials and food package do not cause food unsafe and endanger human health, do not change the composition of food, and do not change the organoleptic characteristics of food. Understanding these regulations and keeping up with the new regulations are essential for maintaining market access for food contact products. In this section, we will provide global food contact regulation developments, news and updates relevant food packaging chemical safety and regulatory compliance.



Brazil has adopted a positive list of additives that can be used in the manufacture of plastic materials and in polymeric coatings intended to come into contact with food. It was adopted on 3 December and notified to the World Trade Organization one week later.


Italy announces that it will tax plastics at the rate of 0.5 Euro per kilogram, excluding products that contain recycled and biodegradable plastic . The tax is intended to go into effect in January 2020.


Japan food contact plastics Positive List came into force on June1, 2020. There is a 5-year grace period, that means, industry has until May 30, 2025 to fully in compliance with the Positive List.

In addition, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) of Japan issued Notification stated that three amended regulations below will come in force from June 1, 2020:

  1. Revision of Food Sanitation Act (Law No. 46 of 2018 )

  2. Article 18, Part 1 of the Food Sanitation Act (Law No. 233 of 1947) (MHLW Notification No. 195)

  3. Amendment on Specifications and Standards for Food and Food Additives (MHLW Notification No. 370)

South Korea

South Korea recently updated it’s Specification and Standards for Food Utensils, Containers and Packages. In addition to adding some new testing methods updates and document formatting changes, the revision added additional requirements for recycled plastics for food contact applications. Prior to this update, South Korea allows the use of chemically recycled PET and PEN for direct food contact uses. In the new revision, it adds two new requirements for recycled plastics: 1) Recycled plastics from industry manufacturing scraps of virgin food contact plastics materials can be used for food contact applications; 2) Recycled plastics are permitted if they are used behind function barriers in food contact applications.


Thailand Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering updating its regulations on plastic food contact materials to allow for the use of recycled plastics in food contact applications. The Thai FDA published questionnaire to industries focusing on food contact materials composed of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The information generated from the completed questionnaires will be used to determine safety standards for both types of materials.


Turkey determines the specifications for plastic materials and articles that are in contact with food and compliance testing rules in o