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Saudi Arabia wants to regulate food contact plastics

Saudi Arabia recently notified the World Trade Organization on the final draft Gulf Cooperation Council technical plastic food contact packaging regulation

On 16 April 2013, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified the WTO on the final draft Technical Regulation ‘Food Packages – Part 2: Plastic Packages – General requirements’ in relation to the general requirements for food contact plastics (1).
The final date for comments is 15 June 2013 and the proposed date of entry into force is 6 months from date of publication.

The final draft regulation is modeled on the:

- Food contact plastics Regulation (EU) 10/2011 at the European level and
- Standard method BS EN 1130-3:2004 ‘Materials and articles in contact with foodstuffs – plastics substances subject to limitation’.

The final draft regulation would establish general requirements for food contact plastics for the GCC market, including:

- GSO standard methods for testing,
- List of authorized substances,
- Specific migration limits for authorized substances, including phthalates;
- Transportation and storage,
- Labeling glass and fork symbol.

Overview of the Regulation on Food Contact Materials

The date for final comments is 15 June 2013 and the proposed date of entry into force is 6 months from date of publication. .

The regulation covers food contact plastic materials to be used for packaging food for attaining containment, protection and preservation. The general requirements are the following:

- No degradation in sensory properties of packaged food material or undesirable changes in the nature and quality of food material.
- Rigid and semi-rigid empty packaging shall not crack, tear or loose intactness when dropped 3 times consecutively onto a solid surface from a height of 75 cm.
- pH of water solution remains in the range 6-8 when placed in packaging material for 1 hour
- Resistant to light when exposed to long periods.

Test methods forplastic packages have to be approved by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Standardization Organization.

Authorized Food Contact Materials

The list of authorized substances contains 885 elements. The specific migration limit (SML) entails the following:
- ≤ 0.02 mg/kg (acrylonitrile)
- ≤ 0.6 mg/kg (bisphenol A (BPA))
- ≤15 mg/kg (formaldehyde)
- ≤ 30 mg/kg (melamine)
- ≤ 0.01 mg/kg for substance s with specific migration limits of non-detectable (ND)

And specifically for phthalates:

- ≤ 0.3 mg/kg (dibutyl phthalate (DBP))
- ≤ 30 mg/kg (benzylbutyl phthalate (BBP))
- ≤ 1.5 mg/kg (bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP))
- Not detected (diallyl phthalate)
- ≤ 9 mg/kg (sum of diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP))

Highlights of the final draft technical regulations are summarized in a table (http://newsletter.sgs.com/eNewsletterPro/uploadedimages/0...) within the latest SGS SafeGuards bulletin.

by S. C.
03 june 2013, World News > Asia

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