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Standards related to packaging

Disclaimer: This document provides guidance and is not a legally binding interpretation and shall therefore not be relied upon as legal advice.


The European PPWD Directive 94/62/EC defines requirements for the design and environmental impact of packaging and packaging waste (PPW).

Since many years the essential requirements of the PPWD are covered by six harmonised standards and two technical reports. The standards are mutually related and each standard covers a specific part of the lifecycle of packaging materials.

EN 13427

EN 13427:2004 is the framework standard, it explains the application of the harmonised standards and the relations with the essential requirements of the PPWD.

The essential requirements as defined in Article 9 and Annex II of the Packaging Directive, together with the restrictions to heavy metals in Article 11, are focused on the environmental impact of packaging after use. The table below shows the links between the main requirements and standards.

Standards related to packaging table

EN 13427 ( Table 1) Relationship between packaging standards (and packaging directive)

EN 13428

EN 13428 is always applicable, compliance is typically shown with a test report. The tests are based on the standards CR 13695-1 and CEN/TR 13695-2.

The applicability of the other standards is dependent on the design of the packaging and how the impact on the environment is minimised and the packaging recovered.

Compliance with these standards is often shown with a Declaration.

International standards

There is a series of international standards that are compatible with the European standards:

  • ISO 18601 (general, EN 13427),
  • ISO 18602 (optimisation, EN 13428),
  • ISO 18603 (reusable, EN 13429),
  • ISO 18604 (material recycling, EN 13430),
  • ISO 18605 (energy recovery, EN 13431) and
  • ISO 18606 (organic recycling, EN 13432).
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