Rules for food contact materials


Picture 1. Legislation of food contact materials in Finland and the EU

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 in Finnish) 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.

Food contact materials made of polyamide and melamine imported from China and Hong Kong are regulated separately by regulation (EU) 284/2011.

In Finland, there is only one national regulation (KTMp 268/1992) regarding heavy metals transferred from contact materials.

The legislation on food contact materials can also be found in full on the website of the Food Agency: Food industry > Instructions and legislation > Packaging and contact materials.

Food contact materials that do not have valid EU-level, material-specific special legislation (so-called non-harmonised materials), safety can be based on EU recommendations (Council of Europe resolutions and their technical instructions), national legislation and recommendations of other EU countries, industry's own recommendations or ultimately, if there is nothing else in the EU area, the national legislation of a country outside the EU. Internet links to the basics of the safety of these non-harmonized materials are compiled on the following page: Food industry > packaging-and-contact-materials > useful online links about contact-materials

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

Page last updated 10/26/2022