On the 18th of November the NHFPC released the “national food safety standards for food contact materials and products, general safety requirements” and another 52 national food safety standards notice (2016, No. 15). In conjunction with the previously released
GB31604.1-2015 and other standards, the new national standard system for food contact materials has been created.
The new standard system consists of four major categories of standards:
① Manufacturing Practices: GB 31603-2015 national food safety standards for food contact materials and products for the protection of general health norms
② basic standards: GB 9685-2016 and GB 4806.1-2016 national food safety standards for food contact materials and products, general safety requirements
③ Product standards: pacifiers, enamel products, ceramic products, glass products, plastic resins, plastic materials and products, paper and cardboard, metal materials and products, coating, and rubber.
④ test standards: including GB 5009.156-2016 and GB31604 series.
Compared with the old standards, the new standards have a lot of changes, mainly in the following aspects.
Firstly the entire standard system is more complete and comprehensive, from raw materials, additives to products, as well as production specifications and testing methods now have specific requirements and regulations.
Secondly the materials have been categorised whereas the old standards set a standard for a particular material. With the emergence of new materials the lack of standards been becoming increasingly prominent. The new standards set a standard for a class of materials. E.g, GB4806.6-2016 food contact with plastic resin instead of GB4803- 1994 and another eight resin standards and the notice of the list of 107 resin products can be used for food packaging materials for unified management. Also integrated
product categories include ceramics, plastic, paper, metal, coatings.
Meanwhile, the new standards have developed the list of permitted substances for resins, paints and rubber, and provides for maximum residue levels, special migration and other requirements.
In addition, the new standards add to the product label requirements. The final product should also be marked “for food contact” “food packaging” or similar terms, or printed
with spoon chopsticks logo. Products (eg chopsticks, frying pans, etc.) that have a specific food contact use are excluded.
GB9685-2016 & GB4806.1-2016 shall apply from 19 October 2017.
Ceramics and other product standards shall apply from 19 April 2017.
For more information, please see the official announcement.
CTI recommends that enterprises consider the updates, check and improve the label information, manage quality in advance, investigate the supply chain and the necessary means of testing to ensure compliance of products to meet regulatory changes and avoid risks.