3rd Update - imports of plastic kitchenware from China and Hong Kong

Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority
Issue Number 05 | June 2011 | www.porthealth.eu
Port Health Update - Imports of Food Contact Materials

3rd Update - New EU legislation - imports of plastic kitchenware from China and Hong Kong applies from July 2011

In this update

  • Details of the new law in England
  • New CN Codes to aid clearance of out of scope consignments
  • details of analytical turnaround times and policy on movement of consignments
  • fees published
The European Commission, on 22 March 2011, published a new Commission Regulation setting out conditions for the importation of plastic kitchenware from China and Hong Kong. See Commission Regulation (EU) No 284/2011 The EC law requires imports to be accompanied by a declaration and analytical results to confirm that they are compliant with limits on the release of harmful chemicals.

In England the EC law will be enforced under  The Plastic Kitchenware (Conditions on Imports from China)(England) Regulations 2011

The controls come into effect on the 1 July 2011, therefore consignments arriving on vessels berthing from 00:01 hours onwards will be controlled.

Controlled Products

The regulation will apply to polyamide and melamine plastic kitchenware that falls under CN code ex 3924 10 00 (tableware and kitchenware) and have been manufactured in or consigned from China and Hong Kong.

Plastic kitchenware is defined as plastic materials and articles which in the finished product state, are intended to come into contact (or are brought into contact) with food.

Plastic materials and articles are defined as:-

  1. materials and articles and parts thereof consisting exclusively of plastics;
  2. plastic multi-layer materials and articles;
  3. plastic layers or plastic coatings, forming gaskets in lids that together are composed of two or more layers of different types of materials (Paragraph 1 and 2 Article 1 Directive 2002/72)
Port Health Detention

Ships manifests for vessels arriving on or after the 1st July 2011 will be checked for imports of controlled kitchenware.  Manifest descriptions such as plastic kitchenware, restaurant supplies or similar will be detained as will consignments with unclear descriptions.

Out of scope consignments

If a consignment is detained which is not covered by the requirements you will need to provide information to Port Health to prove this.  Further information can be found on the Plastic Kitchenware page.   

In addition Customs will need to be advised that the consignment is out of scope.  The CN code has been split down to enable the declaration of goods that are in scope and those that are out of scope of the regulation.  

The code 3924 10 00 11 has been put in place for kitchenware that is in scope and originates from China or Hong Kong.

Consignments that are out of scope should be entered under 3924 10 00 19

Further information about this is found in the Customs Information Paper CIP(11)53 and in the revised Information Paper CIP(11)55

Import Controls

Imports of controlled consignments will only be permitted where the consignment is pre-notified to port health and accompanied by a declaration and laboratory report(s) demonstrating compliance with the limits set down in the law.   Further information about the documentary requirements for controlled consignments can be found on the Plastic Kitchenware page.

Prior Notification
  • The importer is required to notify Port Health of the estimated date and time of physical arrival of the consignment 2 working days in advance. 
  • The Declaration document can be used for pre-notification purposes.  
  • Port Health's PHILIS website (www.philis.co.uk ) is currently being amended to allow the electronic completion and submission of the document to facilitate pre-notification. 
  • Pre-notification can be undertaken by the Importer or his representative.  
  • Following electronic pre-notification, a signed copy of the Declaration still needs to be submitted to the Port Health office together with the analytical reports.  Your completed Declaration can be printed from PHILIS.

Completing the Declaration

Port Health have put together some Guidance on the completion of the Declaration It is important that you read this document before making your online declaration.  A copy of the online declaration is also available to download.

What are the limits that apply?

Polyamide kitchenware
The report must demonstrate that the item does not release into foods (or food simulants) primary aromatic amines in a detectable quantity. (The detection quantity is 0.01mg/kg.)

Melamine kitchenware
The report must demonstrate that they do not release into foods (or food simulants) formaldehyde in a quantity exceeding 15 mg/kg.

Checks on Imports

Checks will be carried out as follows:-

  • Documentary checks on 100% of consignments
  • Identity and Physical checks (including laboratory analysis) on 10% of consignments (these will be selected at random)
Completion of checks

Port Health will be required to endorse the declaration indicating whether the goods are acceptable or not. 

The arrangements for the release of consignments with the HMRC National Clearance Hub are under discussion, however, at this stage it appears that the Port Health Release notification will be accepted for seaports.  A copy of the declaration will not need to be supplied to Customs as evidence that the checks have been completed. 

Release pending the results of checks/ Onward Transportation

The European legislation makes provision for onward transportation of consignments which have been sampled to an inland control point (customs managed storage facility).  Port Health have consulted with our Analyst and have been advised that the turnaround time for sample analysis will be approximately 7 days; in light of this, a decision has been made not to permit the routine movement of consignments pending the results of checks.  There is a possibility that early samples may be slightly delayed whilst testing procedures are established.

The analytical turnaround times will be kept under review and if necessary procedures will be introduced for onward transportation. If this is introduced additional charge will be payable when onward transportation is requested. This charge will be established  if required. 

The English legislation provides for the charging of fees for the checking of documentation and the examination and sampling of consignments.  This includes a fee covering the analytical costs.  A fee will also be payable for the additional controls in relation to any non-compliant consignments. 

The charges are now available on the fees page.

In line with our current arrangements for the consignments subject to statutory controls, all fees must be paid prior to release.

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