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Food Safety

Specific EU policy initiatives

Evaluation and revision of EU rules on FCMs

A revision of the overall EU legislation on FCMs was announced in May 2020 as part of the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system. The revision will be based on the findings of the ongoing FCM Evaluation, which started in 2018 and is also linked to other key strategies, including the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and the Chemicals Strategy for sustainability towards a toxic-free environment. For more information, please see the pages on "Revision of EU Rules" and "Evaluation of EU Rules".

Current status: Commission Staff Working Document for the Evaluation is currently under preparation. Inception Impact Assessment (roadmap) for the revision has been published on the Better Regulation website. A 12-week public consultation is planned for early 2022.

Last updated: 16 December 2021

Ceramic and vitreous FCMs

In addition to the main revision of the EU FCM legislation, the Commission is specifically revising rules concerning heavy metals present in ceramic and vitreous FCMs, which include tableware and kitchenware such as plates, cups, mugs, glasses, jugs, bowls and oven trays. Vitreous materials include glass, crystal and materials with a glazed coating such as enamelled metals. However, recent scientific evidence and enforcement data indicate that the current exposure to lead, cadmium, and several other metals: aluminium, arsenic, barium, cobalt, chromium and nickel, released from FCMs is of concern. In addition, there is information showing that such metals also transfer from vitreous FCMs. Therefore, based on current health data including opinions published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Commission is considering lowering the limits of lead, cadmium and introducing limits for aluminium, arsenic, barium, cobalt, chromium and nickel, allowed to transfer from ceramic and vitreous FCMs. Further information on this initiative can be found here.

Current status:Work to assess impact is ongoing. Further consultation activities will take place in 2022..

Last updated: 16 December 2021

Recycling of plastic for FCM

Since 2008, legislation on the placing of the market of recycled plastic intended for contact with food has been in place. Presently, recycled plastic may be placed on the market subject to National rules, but the Regulation requires the Commission to decide on the authorisation of suitable recycling processes following the publication of EFSA opinions on their ability to manufacture safe recycled plastic. In order to provide necessary clarification, including obligations on the operation of the processes, administration, enforcement as well as providing clear legal provisions that fully acknowledge types of plastic other than PET that may be recycled, a new Regulation repealing and replacing Regulation 282/2008 is under preparation. Once this is introduced, the Commission will provide authorisation decisions for PET plastic notified to applicants, together with the publication of a Register of authorisation holders, recyclers and recycling sites. The Commission is continuously consulting with the involved stakeholder associations and with the Member States on the implementation of this legislation. The Commission must also ensure that the legislation adequately supports the objectives of the Commissions plastic strategy.

Current status: A draft Commission Regulation repealing and replacing Commission Regulation (EC) No 282/2008 was published for external consultation on Better Regulation website. On the basis of the received feedback, the Commission presented an updated text for vote to the toxicological safety section of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed. The vote was favourable. The text will now be translated and submitted to the council and the parliament under the Regulatory Procedure with Scrutiny (PRAC). Thereafter the Commission will consider to adopt it. If adopted, entry into force would be in Q4 2022. The most recent version of the text can be found in the comitology register.

Last updated: 7 April 2022

Amendments to Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011

Implementation of this Regulation is ongoing and regular updates are made, including the addition of new substances authorised for the use in manufacture of plastic FCMs, following an assessment by EFSA. In addition, amendments are made concerning authorisation of existing substances, reflecting new assessments as well as revision of SMLs and other restrictions. The Commission is currently working on the next amendment to reflect new EFSA opinions. Further information may be found concerning ongoing and future planned amendments via presentations made available on the FCM Document Library. A link to the amendments that are adopted and published in the Official Journal can be found on the Legislation page.

Current status: The 16th amendment to Commission Regulation (EC) No 10/2011 is currently under preparation.

Last updated:16 December 2021

Further information