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China Publishes Final Food Packaging Standards

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China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) recently finalized a number of Standards applicable to food contact materials marketed in the People's Republic of China in its announcement No. 15/2016.  Among the Standards released on November 18, 2016, are an update to GB 9685, the Standard on Additives in Food Containers and Packaging Materials, a General Safety Standard for Food Contact Materials and Articles, as well as a number of food packaging “materials” Standards for plastic resins and materials, paper and paperboard, and coatings, among others.  The complete list of newly published Standards is as follows:

  • GB 9685-2016 Standard on the Uses of Additives in Food Containers and Packaging Materials
  • GB 4806.1-2016 Standard on General Safety Requirements for Food-contact Materials and Articles
  • GB 4806.6-2016 Standard on Food-contact Use Plastic Resins
  • GB 4806.7-2016 Standard on Food-contact Use Plastic Materials and Products
  • GB 4806.8-2016 Standard on Food-Contact Use Paper, Paperboard and Paper Products
  • GB 4806.9-2016 Standard on Food-contact Use Metal Materials and Products
  • GB 4806.10-2016 Standard on Food-contact Use Coatings and Coating Layers
  • GB 4806.11-2016 Standard on Food-contact Use Rubber Materials and Products
  • GB 5009.156-2016 Standard on Pre-treatment Methods for Migration Test of Food-Contact Materials and Articles

These Standards contain some changes from the draft versions on which we have previously reported.  Of note, the General Safety Standard formally adopts the functional barrier doctrine in China and includes a definition of “functional barrier” that is consistent with that of the EU Plastics Regulation. 

These Standards take effect on April 19, 2017, with the exception of the General Safety Standard and the update to the GB 9685 Additives Standard, which are effective 6 months later, i.e., on October 19, 2017.  For additional discussion of the final Standards, click here.

To participate in a complementary webinar on this topic lead by attorneys in Keller and Heckman’s Shanghai office, click here.