BRUSSELS, Belgium - CEPE, the European Council of the Paint, Printing Ink and Artists' Colours Industry, has published a "Code of Practice for Coated Articles Where the Food Contact Layer Is a Coating." The Code of Practice, prepared by the CEPE European Sector Can Coatings, helps can-coatings manufacturers comply with the EU Framework Regulation 1935/2004/EC on food-contact materials.

The CEPE Industry Code of Practice applies to coated light-metal packaging, coated metal pails and drums; heavy-duty coatings; and coated flexible-aluminum packaging. It contains lists of substances with explanatory notes, detailed information on specific migration limits (SML) and overall migration limits (OML), labeling requirements, and other documents. It explains the demonstration of compliance with OML, SML and QMA, and the evaluation of results. The application of the Code of Practice is voluntary.

Peter Oldring, member of the European Sector Can Coatings of CEPE and one of the initiators of the Code of Practice, explains, "At present, there is no harmonized EU regulation for this sector. Aware of its responsibility for food quality, the can-coatings industry felt it necessary to take a proactive approach and created this Code of Practice in cooperation with other industry associations along the supply chain. Though voluntary, the code is supported by the majority of the can-coatings industry in Europe."

Jean Guerrier, also a member of the European Sector Can Coatings of CEPE and a main contributor to the code, said, "Improving analytical techniques direct ever more attention on migrants from food-contact articles. In the absence of any specific EU legislation, the CEPE Code of Practice gives professional advice to can-coating manufacturers on how to comply with EU Framework Regulation 1935/2004 on Food Contact Materials."

CEPE recommends that all of its members implement the Code of Practice in full to establish a broad and strong basis for further advocacy. For the future, CEPE favors harmonized legislation across Europe, preferably an EU Regulation, which is the best way to provide adequate consumer protection and at the same time avoid competitive distortions.

The Code of Practice is available from CEPE and the National Associations, and on Publications section of the CEPE website at

CEPE represents more than 1,000 paint, 60 printing ink and about 20 artists' colors companies in 20 countries.