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Legal Compliance of Packaging Materials - Mercosur

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Global legal compliance Mercosur

The Mercosur area consists of the full members Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Venezuela is currently suspended due to failure to meet several key provisions of Mercosur legislation.

Comparable to the European Union, the South American Trading Union Mercosur established a framework standard GMC Res. No. 03/92 (“General Criteria for packaging and articles to come into contact with foodstuffs”), requires that all food-contact materials:

  • Must be manufactured in accordance with good manufacturing practices (GMPs)
  • Must be of suitable purity;
  • Do not transfer any harmful or toxic compounds from the packaging to the food; and
  • Do not cause an unacceptable change in food composition, taste, or odour. 

Under the framework standard, Mercosur has established a series of standards for metals, plastics, paper and board, glass and ceramics, elastomers, adhesives and paraffin waxes.

For plastic materials, resolution GMC 56/92 applies defining an overall migration limit of 50 mg/kg of food or 8 mg/dm2, respectively. Two separate resolutions are in place for substances approved to be used in food contact plastics. GMC Res. No 02/12 lists monomers and other starting substances while GMC Res. No. 32/07 lists additives approved in plastic materials and articles. Both positive lists are in a wide extent identical to Annex I of the European Plastic Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011.

Comparable to the concept of EU Regulation, the Mercosur regulation needs to be incorporated into the national member states legislation.

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