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On 17 June 2022 Thailand's Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) issued the Notification of the Ministry of Public Health (No. 435) B.E. 2565 (2022) Issued Under the Food Act B.E. 2522 (1979) Re: Prescribed Quality or Standard of Plastic Containers (MOPH Notification No. 435/2022), finalizing the new requirements on plastic food contact material.
The regulation will take effect on 18 June 2022.
With this notification, Thailand finalized its new plastic food contact material regulations. The MOPH Notification No. 435/2022 amends the quality and standards of plastic food containers and packaging under Notification of Ministry of Public Health No. 395 Re: Quality or Standard of Plastic Containers, dated 6 January 2006, B.E. 2549 (MOPH 395/2005). The following significant changes are included in the notification:
- New definitions and rules on recycled plastic food packaging
- Expansion of scope of food contact plastic, including the following materials:
- Multi-layered plastic
- Plastic layers in multi-material and multi-layer
- Plastic coating packaging
- Updated general and specific qualities and standards for plastic food packaging, such as hygiene, substance migration limits, colorants, coatings, and printing requirements
- Permitted plastic food contact materials: Twelve types of plastic materials allowed as general food packaging/containers with five types of plastic materials for use with milk and milk product packaging (similar to the currently enforced rules)
- Migration limits: Must conform to migration limit requirements, with the following four tables in Appendix 1
- List of overall migration limits for permitted plastic containers and chemicals
- Specific migration limits for heavy metals in plastic food contact materials (19 entries), with germanium removed from January 2022 proposed version
- Overall migration limits and specific migration limits of primary aromatic amines and PAAs (similar to Annex I of EU Regulation 10/2011)
- Specific migration limits for particular plastic containers (seven entries)
- Use of other materials: FDA must authorize the use of any plastic material other than specified in the regulation. The new clause 7 requires business operators to submit specific risk assessment data to the FDA’s authorized bodies to obtain the authorization.
- Recycled plastic must conform to specific requirements under clauses 8, 9, and 10. Stricter standards will apply to recycled containers made from physical reprocessing (secondary recycling), where the submission of a risk assessment report to FDA is required before use.
- New exemption to multilayer material containers consisting of a functional barrier (clause 5)
The new changes are part of the long-anticipated action to overhaul the food contact material regulatory framework. It adopted other countries' safety standards, including the following.
- Commission Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011 of 14 January 2011 on Plastic Materials and Articles Intended to Come Into Contact With Food, as amended
- US FDA Guidance for Industry: Use of Recycled Plastics in Food Packaging (Chemistry Considerations), issued in August 2006, amended in July 2021
Companies engaged in food product and food container businesses in Thailand should note the changes. Note that Appendix 2 of MOPH 435/2022 is a copy lists of revoked requirements under Appendix 1 and 2 of MOPH 295/2006. After 18 June 2024, companies must follow the new requirements under MOPH 435/2022.