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Croatia Joins the EU; Food Packaging Regulation Implications

Croatia became the European Union's (EU) 28th Member State on July 1, 2013. As a prerequisite to joining the EU, new Member States have to adopt the full body of legislation in place in the EU (the so-called "acquis communautaire"), including all EU regulations on food contact-materials.

Food-contact materials that are not covered by harmonized EU regulations, must comply with the general safety principles set forth in the EU's Framework Regulation (EC 1935/2004), and the appropriate laws of each Member State, subject to the principle of mutual recognition. For more information on the EU Framework Regulation (EC 1935/2004) for food-contact materials, see the European Commission website.

Croatia's food-contact material regulations include "The Regulation on Health Standards of Materials and Objects that are in Contact with Food" (NN125/2009, NN31/2011). In addition to specifying what types of food packaging materials are permitted, this regulation sets forth the requirement that packaging materials may not negatively impact the organoleptic, chemical, or physical characteristics of food. For a general overview of Croatia's food regulations, including food packaging regulations, see the USDA's 2012 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report.