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Korea Amends Standards and Specifications for Food Containers, Utensils, and Packages

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The Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) revised the Standards and Specifications for Food Containers, Utensils, and Packages. The changes were announced in Notification No. 43 of 2020 (in Korean). The main revisions, which came into force on May 29, 2020, are listed below.

  1. The "general production standard" is divided into three parts: raw material standard, processing and manufacturing standard, and reuse standard.
  2. Revised migration requirements are listed in “general specifications.”
  3. Revise the principle of compliance judgment in the "specifications for various uses" and add requirement that the total volatilization of rubber nipple may not exceed 0.5%.
  4. Revise the testing methods for arsenic, 1-hexene, and 1-octene.

This Notification opens the door for the use of recycled resin i.e., polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) in food-contact materials in Korea. These recyclable synthetic resins can only be used for parts that do not come into direct contact with food, such as multi-layer structures, during the manufacture and processing of utensils, containers and packaging. The recycling process for PET and PEN shall be limited to chemical recycling.