Vol. 1225 | 18 Feb 2021

The authorities of Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg issued a joint communication on February 15, 2021, announcing that business operators will have to withdraw “Bamboo-Melamine” materials and articles from the market immediately, as the use of bamboo (or other natural constituents) in combination with polymers, such as melamine (so called “Bamboo-Melamine”) for the manufacture of plastic Food Contact Materials (“FCMs”) does not have an explicit authorization under article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 of 14 January 2011 on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (“Regulation (EU) No 10/2011”).

According to Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 of 27 October 2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (”Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004”), business operators are responsible to ensure that plastic materials and articles comply with the requirements set in article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 10/2011. Accordingly, only the substances included in the European Union list of authorised substances set out in Annex I of Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 may be intentionally used in the manufacture of plastic food contact materials and articles, in accordance with article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 10/2011.

The communication states that controls done by the member States have shown that a wide range of non-compliant “Bamboo-Melamine” composite food contact materials are currently on the EU market. The vast majority of these products present in the EU market are kitchenware and tableware such as re-useable plates, bowls and the so-called “to-go cups”.

In addition, migration of melamine and formaldehyde have been found on a large number of occasions to be considerably above the Specific Migration Limits (SMLs) laid down in Regulation (EU) No 10/2011, leading to the recall of these products from the market.

The communication also states that importers wishing to bring such products to the EU market will have to submit an authorisation dossier according to Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004.

For additional information please contact:

Rob Burton


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