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South Korea Revised Standard and Specifications for Utensils, Containers and Packages

The Korea Ministry of Food & Drug Safety (MFDA) issued a new announcement No. 2022-461 on 14 October 2022, indicating that they will revise the Standard and Specifications for Utensils, Containers and Packages. The deadline for public consultation is 13 December 2022. Until then, any organization or individual can send feedback to the MFDA.

The Standard and Specifications for Utensils, Containers and Packages is an important regulation on food contact materials in South Korea; this regulation has been revised many times over the years. 

Key points of this revision are summarized below.

Revision regarding the standard of regenerated raw materials made of synthetic resin

The raw materials criteria, in the common standards and specifications, for the use of offcuts:
  • New Requirement outlined in Section 12: During the manufacturing and processing of utensils, containers, and packages, process by-products, (such as offcuts from raw materials that meet the standards and specifications) can be used through sanitary management when they are free from impurities and other contaminants.

Accordingly, this item was deleted in “standards for recycling”.

Modification of the terminology “recycled materials” used in the original standard
  • Replace the term  "recycling" in "Standards for recycling" with "regeneration";
  • Change the name of [Annex 4] to: “Standards for Regenerated synthetic resins used for manufacturing of utensils, containers and packages";
  • “Raw material such as flake shall be recognized as recycled raw material by the Minister of Environment according to the Wastes Control Act, etc.” changed to “Comply with the Standard for Use of Regenerated Raw Materials in Food Containers (Notice of the Ministry of Environment)”.
Addition of regulations on application for regenerated raw materials
Addition of a new polymer in the synthetic resin (plastic materials) 
  • A new polymer i.e., Poly (butylene adipate terephthalate) (PBAT) has been added to the standards on plastic materials, including the definition, migration specification requirements, and detection methods of PBAT.
  • A Migration specification requirement was added
    • Lead (Pb) ≤ 1 ppm
    • Consumption of potassium permanganate≤ 10 ppm
    • Overall migration≤ 30 ppm
    • Terephthalic acid (TPA) ≤ 7.5 ppm
    • Adipic acid≤ 5 ppm
    • 1,4-butanediol≤ 5 ppm
  • Detection methods: specific detection methods for determination of migration must be used.
Revision the test methods and statements
  • The test methods of lead, cadmium and other indicators have been revised; 
  • The preparation methods of standard solution and test solution have been revised;
  • The test conditions of analytical instruments have been revised.

It should be noted that version No. 2022-461 has not yet been officially issued. The currently standard is No 2021-76.

To ensure that your Food Contact Materials meet the new South Korea’s regulatory requirements, please contact the knoell FFCM team via or check out our page on Food Contact Material.