RSS
Alphabetical index
This page is available in 4 languages

We are migrating the content of this website during the first semester of 2014 into the new EUR-Lex web-portal. We apologise if some content is out of date before the migration. We will publish all updates and corrections in the new version of the portal.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.


Testing migration of plastic materials in contact with foodstuffs

The basic rules necessary for testing migration of constituents of plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs are harmonised at European level. Migration is the quantity of material, in this case plastic, which can be transferred to foodstuffs in contact with the plastic and which is likely to constitute a danger to human health and alter the composition of the foodstuffs in an unacceptable manner.

ACT

Council Directive 82/711/EEC of 18 October 1982 laying down the basic rules necessary for testing migration of constituents of plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

The following text contains a consolidation of existing Directives relating to testing migration of constituents of plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs (Directives 82/711/EEC, 93/8/EEC and 97/48/EC).

The basic rules necessary for testing migration are included in the Annex to Directive 97/48/EC. The Annex also explains that migration tests may be carried out using simulants.

Verification of compliance of migration into foodstuffs shall be carried out under the most extreme conditions of time and temperature foreseeable in actual use. For food simulants verification shall be carried out using conventional migration tests, the basic rules for which are described in Directive 93/8/EEC.

The Directives lay down the procedure to be followed in cases where, for a given plastic material or article, the basic rules for migration tests are inappropriate.

Migration limit, lists of approved substances and simulants

The limit on overall migration and the list of substances approved within the scope of this Directive are stipulated in Directive 2002/72/EC (see "Related acts" below). The list of simulants for testing migration is found in Directive 85/572 (see "Related acts" below).

Background

European legislation (Directive 2002/72/EC) protects consumers' health by banning materials and articles in contact with foodstuffs which may transfer their constituents to foodstuffs in quantities which could endanger human health and by prohibiting substantial changes to foodstuffs, including their organoleptic characteristics. (Changes to organoleptic characteristics are permitted only in active materials if the substance is an additive that is authorised in foodstuffs).

The latest scientific progress has led to innovations concerning articles in contact with foodstuffs. Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 authorises two types of packaging: "intelligent" (indicating if the product has expired or deteriorated) and "active" (making chemical changes to foodstuffs to increase their durability).

For further information on materials in contact with foodstuffs, please consult:

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 78/142/EEC01.02.197826.11.1979OJ L 44 of 15.02.1978; corrigendum L 163 of 20.06.1978

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 82/711/EEC04.11.1982-OJ L 297 of 23.10.1982
Directive 93/8/EEC22.03.1993-OJ L 90 of 14.04.1993
Directive 97/48/EC01.09.199701.07.1998OJ L 222 of 12.08.1997

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1895/2005 of 18 November 2005 on the restriction of use of certain epoxy derivatives in materials and articles intended to come into contact with food [Official Journal L 302 of 19.11.2005]

Commission Directive 2002/72/EC of 6 August 2002 relating to plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs [Official Journal L 220 of 15.08.2002]
This Directive establishes a limit on overall migration, a list of approved substances and other specific restrictions. It repeals Directive 90/128/EEC.

Commission Directive 93/10/EEC of 15 March 1993 relating to materials and articles made of regenerated cellulose film intended to come into contact with foodstuffs
Most recently amended by:
Directive 2004/14/EC [Official Journal L 27 of 30.01.2004]

Directive 85/572/EEC [Official Journal L 372 of 31.12.1985]
This is a measure implementing Directive 82/711/EEC.
The Annex lists and stipulates the concentration of food simulants authorised for testing migration. Thus, prior legislation on plastic packaging is applied while taking account of technical progress in migration testing.

Last updated: 08.08.2006
Legal notice | About this site | Search | Contact | Top