EC considers full revision of existing FCM legislation


European Commission (EC) policy officer discusses benefits of revising Article 3 of existing food contact material (FCM) Regulation 1935/2004, suggests this would ensure ‘future-proof’ legislation; alternative approaches being considered based on amending existing legislation; considers fee for chemical assessment and market surveillance.

On February 26, 2021, news provider Chemical Watch reported on the results of their food contact regulations conference where European Commission (EC) policy officer, Jonathan Briggs, discussed the benefits of a complete revision of Article 3 within the current EU food contact material (FCMs) legislation 1935/2004 as well as allocating collected industry fees to market surveillance.

Briggs reported on the consultation comments received on its inception impact assessment between December 2020 and January 2021 (FPF reported and submitted comments). The over 300 responding stakeholders were split over whether amendments to the existing legislative text are sufficient or if it is necessary to completely revise the regulatory framework. Briggs discussed that it is possible to use the existing framework of Article 3 within Regulation 1935/2004, which states that “FCMs should not endanger human health or bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of food.” However, he cautioned that this approach would limit the EC in its goal to achieve “future-proof” legislation. According to Briggs, the decision on which approach will be applied in the end is still being considered.

Regarding a proposed fee structure for chemical assessment and surveillance as proposed by a recent ANEC report (FPF reported), Briggs warned that fees for chemical assessment could slow down innovation and have negative effects on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). He sees a greater chance for implementing a market surveillance fee using delegated or notified bodies.

The EC will carry out a full impact assessment for their revised FCM policy (FPF reported), and a legislative proposal is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2022.

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Food Packaging Forum, 26 February 2021