Japan to amend positive list for food contact materials

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) of Japan is going to amend the positive list on food contact materials. A provisional list has been made available on the MHLW website.

Utensils, Containers, and Packaging|Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (mhlw.go.jp)

The MHLW is currently working on further adjustments/restructuring of the provisional list. The positive list is expected to be finalized in the next few months.  Once the final provisional list is ready, it will be published on the website of the ministry, and public comments will be solicited before  subsequent notification at WTO. The regulation applies to all food contact materials made of synthetic resins entering Japan, regardless of whether or not they are accompanying food at the time of entry. Food exporters exporting to Japan, or interested in exporting to Japan, are advised to check whether the substances constituting the utensils, containers and packaging (UCP) used for their products are included in the provisional list, or otherwise send in comments that they are missing.

Japan’s positive list system for food contact materials was implemented on 1 June 2020, with a 5-year grace period for unlisted substances used in synthetic resins that have been manufactured/ sold in Japan prior to the effective date. The upcoming amendment concern such unlisted substances.

Dutch cheese products at Foodex Japan 2022 v2
Photo: Dutch cheese products exhibited at Foodex Japan 2022