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Home  > Publications  > Blog  > The Swiss Ordinance on printing inks

Sunday, 19 January 2020

The Swiss Ordinance on printing inks

Thursday, 4 October 2012 | Posted by: Kirsten Wrede, European Coatings Journal

Whenever I do research on latest trends in printing inks, the catch word "Swiss Ordinance” jumps at me. Thinking a bit more about it, I remember the migration incident that probably caused the Swiss government to introduce this legislation aimed at controlling inks in food packaging.

In 2005, the problem of potential migration of hazardous substances from packaging into product triggered great consumer concerns, when traces of a UV initiator (ITX) where found in two milk brands of Nestlé, the Swiss-based international food group.

Strangely enough, the Swiss Ordinance, introduced by the government of Switzerland, has become the standard for food packaging inks in Europe. Based on this regulation, which includes a positive list for ink materials, packaging companies and food brand owners demand certificates of compliance from their suppliers.

"The Swiss Ordinance List has become the reference for food contact compliant inks for Europe. New developments are as much as possible based on raw materials listed on the Swiss Ordinance List,” I was told by a product development specialist for printing and packaging inks at BASF.

A flood of information on this complex matter can be found on the internet. I did not get a satisfying answer on why a specific EU harmonised legislation does not exist. Will it come into being at all, or will the rules set by the Swiss Ordinance eventually make their way into national legislation of other European countries?

For more information on printing inks in food packaging, visit the EuPIA website or click here.

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