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Argentina Issues Authorisation Requirements for Food Contact Materials and Containers

Argentina’s National Administration of Drugs, Foods and Medical Devices (ANMAT) recently issued new mandatory authorisation requirements for food contact materials, containers and utensils. These products have been divided into four categories in accordance with their inherent risk:

  • low-risk materials, containers and utensils made of ceramic, cork, porcelain, wood, glass and other materials, which, due to their nature, do not transfer toxic elements to food and are not harmful to human health;
  • medium-risk materials, containers and utensils made of metal, rigid plastics, cellulose and other materials that could transfer toxic elements to food;
  • high-risk materials, containers and utensils made of melanin, soft plastics, covered containers and painted materials, which, due to their nature and physical and chemical characteristics, usually transfer toxic elements to food and are harmful to human health; and
  • mixed-risk materials, containers and utensils made of materials falling in more than one of the preceding categories.

Entities interested in registering their food-contact materials, containers and utensils must submit an application to the National Food Institute (INAL) and respond to any comments by the agency within 30 business days. A decision on whether to authorise specific low-risk materials, containers and utensils will normally be issued within 24 hours, while a decision on whether to authorise specific medium-risk and high-risk materials, containers and utensils will normally be issued within five business days. Each authorisation will have its own authorisation number and will be valid for a period of five years from its date of issuance. Renewal of the authorisation may be requested up until the day before its expiry date.

Importers of subject merchandise must perform quality control tests in accordance with the provisions of the Argentinean Food Code and based on a risk management analysis, although such tests are not necessary if the importer submits a commercialisation authorisation or a free sale certificate issued by a country with a regulatory convergence programme with ANMAT and/or a test protocol issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, or the applicable agencies in the European Union or Japan.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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