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Industries >> Food Contact Materials >> Glass and Ceramics

Glass and Ceramics

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Council Directive 84/500/EEC, subsequently amended by Commission Directive 2005/31/EC, sets out the rules for ceramic articles intended to come into contact with food.

The Commission Directive sets out the rules that specify the maximum quantities of lead and cadmium allowed to migrate from ceramic articles into foodstuffs. It also instructs manufacturers and importers to draw up a declaration that documents compliance of the article with the current legislation on ceramic articles. The declaration shall provide the following information:

  • The identity and address of the company which manufactures the finished ceramic article and of the importer who imports it into the Community
  • The identity of the ceramic article
  • The date of the declaration
  • The confirmation that the ceramic article meets the requirements of Council Directive 84/500/EEC, subsequently amended by Commission Directive 2005/31/EC and Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004.

Furthermore, the results of the conducted tests shall be documented in a test report, which also states the circumstances under which the test was conducted and the name and address of the laboratory that conducted the test.

Several European countries, e.g. Denmark, Norway, France and Austria, have established further national requirements for glass and ceramic articles. In addition to the requirements set out in Council Directive 84/500/EEC and the subsequent amendments, other countries established requirements for testing the migration of lead and cadmium from the mouth contact rim or defined limits for further metals like Barium, Antimony or Zinc.


No harmonised legislation exists for the glass sector at EU level yet. Therefore the directive for ceramics is commonly used for glass as well to ensure that no unacceptable migration of lead and cadmium takes place. The scope of the directive is expected to be expanded to glass, but a final deadline for this change has not yet been released and awaits a final conclusion from the Joint Research Center (JRC).