New Standards for Food Contact Materials and Articles in South Korea

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety
(MFDS) has published its latest specifications for food contact materials and

Notice No. 2021-76 was issued in September
2021. It contains the latest requirements under the nation’s ‘Standards and
Specifications for Utensils, Containers and Packaging’. It incorporates
proposed provisions issued in May 2021.

Provisions include:

  • New
    language and a new structure for better clarity
  • Adding
    polyketones as a new material under synthetic resins:

    • Lead: no more than 1.0 mg/L
    • Potassium permanganate consumption: no more than 10.0
    • Overall migration: no more than 30 mg/L
  • Grouping
    synthetic resins with similar structures into nine categories:

    • Olefins
      with six materials
    • Esters
      (twelve), with butylenesuccinate copolymer (PBS) and butylenesuccinate-adipate
      copolymer (PBSA) as individual entries – the requirements for potassium
      permanganate consumption are now excluded for non-water-resistant PBSA
    • Styrenes
    • Amines
    • Acrylics
    • Aldehydes
    • Ethers
    • Vinyl
      chlorides (two)
    • Others
      (three – fluorocarbons, epoxy resins and polyketones)
  • Providing
    specifications in the form of a table for each synthetic resin, rubber,
    regenerated cellulose, paper, metal/alloy, wood, starch as well as glass,
    ceramic, enamel and pottery materials, for ease of reference
  • Providing
    new safety provisions for active and intelligent materials/containers
  • Regulating
    the use of recycled synthetic resins, including improved standards for recycled
    polyethylene terephthalates (PET)

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Polyketone is a copolymer of carbon
monoxide, ethylene and propylene, and refers to a synthetic resin in which the
content of carbon monoxide in the base polymer is approximately 50%.

Food contact materials and articles are
regulated under the Food Sanitation Act in South Korea. It prohibits the
presence or use of toxic/harmful chemicals in food contact utensils, containers
and packaging and directs the MFDA to establish standards and specifications
for these products.

Implementation will happen in phases with the
following effective dates:

  • September
    7, 2021 – Notice 2021-76
  • January 1,
    2022 – recognized raw materials (flakes, etc.) used during the recycling
    process if these are recycled synthetic resins made of physically regenerated
    PET materials and meet the criteria for recycled synthetic resins in utensils,
    containers and packaging

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Stakeholders are advised to now check
their products conform to the latest South Korean requirements for food contact
materials and articles.

SGS Food Contact Materials Services

SGS’s technical experts have extensive experience of testing materials and
articles in contact with food. They can ensure that your products meet the
appropriate regulations for food contact materials and pave the way for
compliance. SGS offers the full range of testing, including migration tests,
along with expert advice on emerging regulations, compliance issues and
documentation review. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested.
Learn more about SGS’s Food Contact
s Services.

SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the
latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full South
Korea Issues New Food Contact Material and Articles Standards


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For further information contact:

Dr. Hing Wo Tsang

Global Information and Innovation Manager

Tel: (+852) 2774 7420



LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

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