Virtual Workshop, 8-9 July 2021.
The ASEAN Prepared Foodstuffs Working Group (PPWG) has adopted the “ASEAN General Guidelines on Food Contact Materials” in 2019. These guidelines prescribe that generic requirements for articles that come into contact with foodstuffs in all stages, starting from production to storage distribution and consumption. These guidelines provide that sufficient precautions should be taken by industry to prevent the transfer of harmful substances to food. The materials that come into contact with foodstuffs (FCMs) are diverse and each material has its own unique properties. For this reason the generic requirements are supplemented by specific measures that should instituted for each type of material that comes into contact with food.
ARISE Plus is assisting the ASEAN Committee on Harmonisation of Prepared Foodstuff Standards (ACHPFS) in this effort. ACHPFS is leading this work and has prioritised 2 major food contact material for development of specific measures; ceramics and plastics. A workshop was organised for Thirty-six (36) representatives of ASEAN Committee on Harmonisation of Prepared Foodstuff Standards (ACHPFS) from all ten (10) ASEAN Member States on the 8th and 9th of July 2021. This first workshop focussed on the harmonisation of specific measures for ceramics FCM articles.
The workshop commenced with the ARISE Plus expert elaborating on the current status of FCM regulations around the world. Participants then exchanged information on the state of regulations in each Members State as a prelude to discussions on formulating harmonised requirements for ASEAN. It was noted that there is significant variation in regulatory requirements in ASEAN Member States ranging from no regulations to differences in levels of permissible limits of migration of harmful substances.
The workshop discussions proceeded on the development of harmonised specific measures for ceramics FCM and these discussions led to the development of the recommended content and outline for adoption in ASEAN. This document is expected form the basis of the final Specific Measures for Ceramics FCM for adoption in ASEAN. The harmonised specific measures will provide a basis of harmonising regulatory requirements in Member States. serving as reference for harmonising regulations in Member States with existing regulations and as a reference to Member States which are in the process of enacting regulations for Ceramics FCM.