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Germany Notified MOAH Ordinance to the WTO

Germany parliament building and flag

Germany’s Draft Twenty-second Ordinance amending the German Ordinance on Consumer Goods, which establishes limits on the transfer of mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH) from food contact materials (FCMs) made from recycled paper and board, has been notified to the World Trade Organization (WTO) under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement.  The Draft is open for comment by the WTO Member States until 21 May 2021.

The Draft Ordinance specifies that a functional barrier will be required in paper, paperboard, and cardboard FCMs containing recycled paper. A transfer is deemed not to take place if it can be demonstrated that less than 0.5 mg MOAH per kilogram of food is transferred. When MOAH transfer from recycled paper and board FCM is carried out in food simulants, a detection limit of 0.15 mg MOAH/kg simulant applies.  Certain limited exemptions apply to the aforementioned requirements. (For further details, please see our prior article on this subject, which is available here). 

The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture notified the Draft Ordinance to the European Commission (EC) in September 2020 under the Single Market Transparency Directive (EU) 2015/1535 and it was published in the Technical Regulation Information Systems (‘TRIS’) database (EU notification).  The Draft was under the scrutiny of the Member States and the European Commission until 18 February 2021.

Before enacting the final Ordinance, Germany should take into account comments issued by the European Commission, Italy, Spain, the detailed opinion (i.e., objection) issued by the Netherlands (under the EU notification) as well as any comments received from the WTO Member States (under the SPS notification).