Published on: Mon 17 December 2018

How Do You Deal With: Food Contact Products

Introduction

Is the German LFGB the most stringent Food Contact legislation in Europe?

Summary

You should take care that your products meet the legislative requirements applicable on the European countries where you put your product on their market.

We are aware that FCM legislation in Europe is complex. Especially because of lack of harmonisation. Our training about Food Contact Materials will help you to find your way in the labyrinth of European FCM legislation.

Content

We doing our utmost to educate our clients in product compliance, however it becomes obvious to us that there is a perception within the retail merchandise that the German LFGB is the most stringent legislation within Europe.

LFGB is the German abbreviation for the German Food and Commodities Act, viz. Lebensmittel-, Bedarfsgegenstände- und Futtermittelgesetzbuch, Food Contact Materials are next to food subject of this piece of German legislation. Food Contact materials (FCM) are materials intended to be brought into contact with food.

"Examples of FCM are kitchenware, dish-ware, pots and pans, food processors, coffee-makers etc."

Materials form consumer products which have or may have intended food contact may not transfer their constituents to food. In general this is one of the major requirements stipulated in all kind of FCM legislation. Within Europe we are dealing with European and national legislations of EU member states.

"European harmonisation means a process of making laws similar or equal in all EU countries."

FCM legislation is unfortunately in Europe partly harmonised which creates a lot of uncertainty and confusion among legislative FCM requirements.

Some importers, retailers and etailers think that, if their products are compliant to the German LFGB it will also be compliant to Dutch, Belgian and French FCM legislation. They are in the opinion that the LFGB is the most stringent within Europe and that they have made a reasonable risk based decision to test their product on LFGB requirements.

However LFGB deviates from e.g. Dutch and Belgian requirements. If you put FCM products on the Dutch market, the products must meet the Dutch ”Warenwetregeling verpakkingen en gebruiksartikelen” (WVG). WVG is the Dutch Commodities Act Regulation on Packaging and Consumer Articles Coming into Contact with Foodstuffs which is the Dutch equivalent of the German LFGB.

"Please be aware that the requirements stipulated in the Dutch WVG are more stringent than the requirements stipulated in the German LFGB. So it is quite risky to assume if your product meets the requirements of LFGB it will automatically meet the requirements of the Dutch WVG."

In Germany your product must meet the LFGB. In the Netherlands your product must meet the WVG.

Article written by: René van Gemert, Trainer at ProductIP