From July 1, imports from China and Hong Kong must carry proof that they comply with limits on the release of harmful chemicals.
The proof required comprises a declaration and laboratory report that the imports are compliant, all of which will be overseen by Port Health, who will enforce the new law.
The regulation will apply to polyamide and melamine plastic kitchenware that falls under CN code ex 3924 10 00 (tableware and kitchenware). It will include products that come into contact with foodstuffs that are made or have parts made of plastic, items with plastic layers or coatings and forming gaskets in lids.
For Polyamide kitchenware, the compulsory report must demonstrate that the item does not release aromatic amines in a detectable quantity into foods. For Melamine kitchenware, the report must show that it doesn't release formaldehyde into foods at a quantity exceeding 15mg/kg.
Under the new conditions set out by the European Commission, importers are required to notify Port Health of the estimated date and time of physical arrival of consignments, two working days in advance. Checks will then be carried out on documentation, the laboratory analysis and 10% of the consignment, selected at random.
For more information visit www.food.gov.uk
or for BHETA members, call 0203 008 7860 or email email@example.com