Rules for food contact materials

Rules for food contact materials in EU and in Finland.

In Finland we have harmonised all the EU-legislation of food contact materials. That means that all the regulations are in force as it is. EU-directives have implemented by a national decree.

The Finnish Food Act (297/2021) also  applied to materials and articles that come into contact with food. According to this Act (13§), food contact material operators (manufacturers, importers, suppliers/wholesalers) must notify the food authority about their operations. The notification is given with a form provided by the municipal authority.

You find more about the notification on the page: Register notification.

The above picture presents the legislation on food contact materials and contact material operators in the EU-level and in Finland.

The two EU Regulations at the top apply to all food contact materials and contact material operators; the Framework Regulation 1935/2004, and the GMP Regulation 2023/2006. They specify general requirements for all food contact materials as well as for their manufacture, importation and wholesale.

The vertical columns indicate five material-specific legislative acts, referred to as specific measures, which have been adopted by virtue of Regulation 1935/2004; starting from the right:

Plastics Regulation 10/2011, Recycled Plastics Regulation 282/2008, and Regulation 450/2009 on Active and Intelligent Materials and Articles are EU Regulations and thus directly in force in Finland.

Ceramics Directives 84/500/EEC and 2005/31/EC have been implemented in Finland by Decree 165/2006 of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Regenerated Cellulose Directive 2004/14/EC by Decree 697/2005 of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

In addition to these, EU has provided specifically for epoxy derivatives in food contact materials in Regulation 1895/2005, and nitrosamines in rubber teats and soothers are provided for in Decree 903/1994 of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

More about the specific legislation are explained further on the ATK-menu under this page

Those food contact materials, which do not have in force a specific legislation in the EU-level (so-called non-harmonized materials), have only regulated by the framework regulation. As the Framework Regulation does not specify any exact rules for these materials, something else must be used as safety criteria for them.  Such criteria may be based on e.g. legislation adopted in other EU Member States (some Member States have actually several legislative acts in force), regulatory guidelines issued in EU Member States, legislation adopted in third countries, or industry guidelines.


You can find a youtube video of a lecture on rules for food contact materials here.

Page last updated 7/23/2021