European Union: Establishment of a coordinated control plan to measure risk of food contact materials (MAA 2019-02)

Date of issue: 7 June 2019

Date of effect: 1 June 2019

Reference Number: MAA2019-02


Industries— Industry Bodies – Australian Honey Bee Industry Council, Australian Food & Grocery Council
State regulatory authorities
Department of Agriculture—Central and Regional offices


  • To notify exporters of the implementation of a coordinated European Union (EU) wide sampling and control plan to establish the prevalence of chemical compounds migrating from food contact materials into food.

Summary of key points

  • The control plan will take place from 1 June 2019 until 31 December 2019.
  • There is the possibility of delays to the clearance of consignments selected for sampling as part of the control plan. Products targeted for assessment will include both EU produced and packaged food as well as imported products. Sampling will occur at point of import, and wholesale and distribution points across all member states. Sampling rates vary between member states.
  • A range of food contact materials have been identified for assessment –
    • primary aromatic amines (used in printed food contact materials including paper and board);
    • formaldehyde and melamine (used in plastic tableware and kitchenware);
    • phenol (used in printed plastic and paper food contact materials);
    • bisphenols - including BPA and BPS (used in plastic ware and coated metal packaging);
    • phthalates and non-phthalate plasticisers (used in flexible packaging and tubing);
    • fluorinated compounds (used in paper and board based materials/fast food wrappers);
    • metals.  
  • The results of the sampling and control plan may lead to the EU implementing new packaging requirements and/or additional control measures to ensure a higher level of human health and consumer protection.
  • Details of the control plan.

Further information

Contact NPG Exports if you have any queries.

The information provided in this advice is current at the time of writing and is intended for use as guidance only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. The Commonwealth endeavours to keep information current and accurate, however, it may be subject to change without notice. Exporters are encouraged to verify these details with their importers prior to undertaking production/exports. The Commonwealth will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on information contained in this notice.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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