David Ettinger Quoted in IHT Markit Article, "China Seeks Comment on Draft Standards for Food Contact Materials"

Date: Oct 20, 2020

Keller and Heckman Partner David Ettinger was quoted in the IHT Markit article, “China Seeks Comment on Draft Standards for Food Contact Materials.” The article discusses the five draft standards for food contact materials China published on its National Health Commission (NHC) website on October 15 and how U.S. companies should make sure their food packaging is compliant with the changes.

The draft standards, also known as GuoBiao or GB standards, are part of the Chinese government’s push to improve the country’s regulatory regime on food-contact materials and articles. They include both new materials standards that have not existed in China as well as revisions to existing GB standards.

“Industry should closely monitor these standards as there are many changes, for example, the draft revised detergents standard includes a new positive list of raw materials permitted for use,” Mr. Ettinger said. “U.S. food producers doing business in China should be aware of the regulatory development and make sure the food packaging materials used for their products comply with the relevant GB standards. The obligation of compliance, however, mainly rests with the manufacturers of food-contact materials and articles, who should only supply compliant products and pass along sufficient compliance information to the downstream food producers.”

The Chinese government will consider comments received and revise the draft standards as it deems appropriate, though it will not publish or otherwise discuss the comments with industry. The deadline for public comment is November 30.