The regulation of food contact materials in the EU is currently in a state of development, with various aspects still subject to national provisions. General rules that are applicable to all food contact materials are described in the EU framework Regulation on Food Contact Materials.

Can coatings

The CEPE Code of Practice gives professional advice to can coating manufacturers on how to comply with EU Framework Regulation on Food Contact Materials. The application of the Code of Practice is voluntary. Ad-hoc regulations that apply to specific substances have also been published.

EU Food contaminants regulation

Commission Regulation 1881/2006 specifies maximum levels of inorganic tin in canned foods and canned beverages.

Click here for an exhaustive list of applicable EU food contact regulation.

The Council of Europe resolution on metals and alloys in contact with food stuff

Though not legally binding for member states this resolution serves as a reference for the implementation of Article 3 paragraph 1 of Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004.

Good Manufacturing Practices

The Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) regulation covers aspects of quality assurance which ensure that all food contact materials and articles are consistently produced and controlled to ensure conformity with applicable rules and quality standards.

In parallel, the European metal packaging industry has developed its own voluntary GMP guidelines.

Three European standards have been developed for steel for packaging (blackplate, tinplate and ECCS) intended to enter into contact with foodstuffs. In general terms,

Standard EN 10334 covers the maximum content for alloying and residual elements present in steel (blackplate) used as a substrate for Tinplate/ECCS or as such in other applications.

Standard EN 10333 covers the composition of the base steel used for the production of tinplate as well as the composition of tin used to coat it.

Standard EN10335 specifies the base steel to be used and the composition of the metallic coating to be used for the manufacture of lacquered ECCS (electrolytic chromium/chromium oxide coated steel).