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What is the Status of GB 9685?

April 6, 2010
Question 

What type of certification do you need to be included on China's "positive list" of 959 food additives that will be authorized for use in food packaging materials? Does this apply to biodegradable additives? Does the EU certification with REACH qualify a product in China as well?

Answer 

The People's Republic of China's "Hygienic Standards for Uses of Additives in Food Containers and Packaging Materials" (GB 9685-2008), which became effective June 1, 2009, currently provides a positive list of 959 additives permitted for use in food containers and packaging materials. However, there were numerous food-contact substances in use in China at that time that were not on the "positive list." Subsequently, China's Ministry of Health (MOH) published final guidance documents outlining procedures and data requirements for submitting petitions to include these food-contact substances on a "positive list." These substances must be currently marketed in China and present no health or safety concerns. The deadline to submit petitions to MOH for currently used food packaging materials is June 1, 2010. Chinese authorities have indicated that they will take into consideration regulatory clearances for a given food-contact substance in the United States, European Union (EU), and Japan when evaluating the petitions. (For more information, see the PackagingLaw.com article, "China Finalizes Procedures for "Grandfathering" Food-Contact Substances.")