Choose another country to see content specific to your location

//Select Country

FOOD AND HEALTH ESSENTIALS

Your regular update for technical and industry information

Food packaging requirements in Brazil

Pre-packaged food offers consumers around the world access to a wider variety of safe and nutritious foods and food products. And, with retail food sales in Brazil approaching $100 billion (U.S.) annually1, global food producers, distributors and retailers are increasingly exploring ways to expand their access to this important and growing market for pre-packaged foods.

However, ensuring compliance with Brazil’s food packaging requirements is a prerequisite for company’s seeking to take advantage of the market opportunities there. In this article, we’ll provide a summary of regulations currently applicable in Brazil to materials used to package food and food products.

Background

Brazil’s food packaging regulatory structure largely reflects its commitments to it regional and international trading partners. As a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Brazil subscribes to both the WTO’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement, as well as to Codex Alimentarius (CODEX) principles. In addition, Brazil is also a member of the Common Market of the South (also known as Mercosur), a consortium whose members include Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The government of Brazil has a number of ministries and agencies that share overall responsibility for the safety of domestic and imported foods, but ANVISA (the National Health Surveillance Agency) is responsible for the development and enforcement of regulations applicable to most types of packaged food products, including regulations applicable to food packaging materials. Specifically, under Article 8 of Law No. 9782/99, ANVISA is empowered to regulate, control and supervise products and services involving public health risks, including food packaging, as well as the physical facilities and technologies involved in the food production process.

Under ANVISA regulations, packaging and equipment intended for direct contact with food shall not produce undesirable, toxic or contaminant components in quantities exceeding the maximum limits established by current legislation. Therefore, packaging materials must control the overall or specific migration that may represent a risk to human health, and/or cause changes in the composition of a food or food product or its sensorial characteristics.

Regulations Applicable to Packaging

Specific legislation covering the sanitary aspects of food packaging is organised by the type of packaging material, that is, polymeric, cellulosic, metallic, glass, textile or elastomeric. Here is a summary of the applicable regulations according to packaging material type:

General regulation on packaging and materials in contact with food

  • Resolution - RDC No. 91 of 11 May 2001 approves the Technical Regulation "General Criteria and Classification of Materials for Packaging and Equipment in Contact with Foods"

Food contact adhesives

  • Resolution - RDC No. 91 of 11 May 2001 approves the Technical Regulation "General Criteria and Classification of Materials for Packaging and Equipment in Contact with Foods"

Waxes and paraffins

  • Resolution No. 122 of 19 June 2001 approves the Technical Regulation on Waxes and Paraffins in Contact with Foods

Cellulosic packaging

  • Resolution - RDC No. 88 of 29 June 2016 approves the technical regulation on materials, packaging and cellulosic equipment intended to come into contact with food and other provisions
  • Resolution - RDC No. 89 of 29 June 2016 approves the technical regulation on cellulosic materials for hot cooking and filtration and other measures
  • Resolution - RDC No. 90 of 29 June 2016 approves the technical regulation on materials, packaging and cellulosic equipment intended to come into contact with food during cooking or heating in the oven and makes other arrangements
  • Ordinance No. 177 of 4 March 1999 approves the Technical Regulation "General Provisions for Packaging and Cellulosic Equipment in Contact with Foods"
  • Resolution - RDC No. 130 of 10 May 2002 alters sub-item 2.10 of item 2 of Administrative Rule no. 177/99, dated March 4, 1999
  • Resolution - RDC No. 129 of 10 May 2002 approves the Technical Regulation on Recycled Cellulosic Material
  • Resolution - RDC No. 217 of 1 August 2002 approves the Technical Regulation on Regenerated Pulp Films in Food Contact
  • Resolution - RDC No. 218 of 1 August 2002 approves the Technical Regulation on Synthetic Casings of Regenerated Cellulose in Contact with Foods

Elastomeric packaging

  • Resolution No. 123 of 19 June 2001 approves the Technical Regulation on Elastomeric Packaging and Equipment in Contact with Foods

Metal packaging

  • Law No. 9832 of 14 September 1999 prohibits the use of industrial welded metal packaging with lead and tin alloy for packaging foodstuff, except for dry and dried produce
  • Resolution No. 20 of 22 March 2007 approves the Technical Regulation on Dispositions for Packaging, Coatings, Utensils, Covers and Metallic Equipment in Contact with Foods

Plastic packages

  • Ordinance No. 987, of 8 December 1998 (*) approves the Technical Regulation for disposable polyethylene terephthalate - PET - multilayer packaging intended for the packaging of non - alcoholic carbonated beverages
  • Resolution No. 105 of 19 May 1999 approves the Technical Regulation "General Provisions for Packaging and Plastic Equipment in contact with Food"
  • Resolution No. 124 of 19 June 2001 approves the Technical Regulation on Film-forming Preparers based on Polymers and / or Resins intended for Food coating
  • Resolution No. 146, 6 August 2001 approves the inner layer deposition process of amorphous carbon on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles virgin via plasma, intended to come into contact with food types I and VI of Freezing temperature at room temperature for a prolonged time, and maximum food processing temperature of 121°C
  • Resolution No. 20 of 26 March 2008 approves the Technical Regulation that provides on the Technical Regulation on post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycled food grade (PET-PCR grade) intended to come into contact with food
  • Resolution No. 51 of 26 November 2010 deals with migration in materials, packaging and plastic equipment intended to come into contact with food
  • Resolution No. 52 of 26 November 2010 disposes of colourants in packaging and plastic equipment intended to be in contact with food
  • Resolution No. 41, dated 16 September 2011 provides for the prohibition of the use of bisphenol A in feeding bottles for infants and makes other provisions. Repealed by Resolution RDC n. 56/2012 56/2012
  • Resolution No. 56 of 16 November 2012 provides on the positive list of monomers, other initiators and polymers authorised for the preparation of plastic packaging and equipment in contact with food

Additives for plastic packaging

  • Resolution - RDC No. 17 of 12 January 2008 provides on Technical Regulation on Positive List of Additives for Plastic Materials for the Development of Packaging and Equipment in Contact with Foods

Glass and ceramic packaging

  • Ordinance No. 27 of 13 March 1996 approves the Technical Regulation on packaging and glass and ceramic equipment in contact with food, not metallic

Packaging for fresh vegetables

  • Joint Instruction No. 9 of 12 November 2002 provides for packaging intended for the packaging of vegetables

Harmonisation of Regulations

As previously noted, Brazil is a consortium partner with other South American countries in Mercosur. As a result, regulations applicable to food packaging materials in Brazil are harmonised with those of Mercosur and other consortium partner nations. The information in Table 1 cross-references the Mercosur regulation with its counterpart regulation in Brazil.

Table 1:  Mercosur regulations applicable to food packaging materials, and their counterpart regulations in Brazil

 

Type of material MERCOSUR regulation Summary Regulation of Brazilian legislation
General GMC n.03/92 General provisions for materials in contact with food RDC n.91/2001
Plastic GMC n.56/92 General provisions for plastic materials Resolution n.105/1999 - General dispositions
Plastic GMC n.02/12 Positive list of polymers and resins for packaging and equipment RDC n. 56/2012 (Repeals the annexes II, XI and XII of Resolution n.105/99)
Plastic GMC n.32/07 Additives for plastics RDC n.17/2008 (Repeals the annex III of Resolution n.105/99)
Plastic GMC n.15/10 Dyes in packaging and plastic equipment RDC n.52/2010 (Repeals the annexes IV e X from Resolution n.105/99)
Plastic GMC n.32/10 Migration in materials, packaging and plastic equipment RDC n.51/2010 (Repeals the annexes I, V, VI, XIII, XIV from Resolution n.105/99)
Plastic GMC n. 55/99 Prepared Film Formers made of Polymers and/or Resins intended for Food Coatings RDC n.124/2001
Plastic There is no equivalent resolution in Mercosur Use of amorphous carbon in virgin polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles RDC n.146/2001
Plastic GMC n. 30/07 PET after recycled consumption (PCR) RDC n.20/2008

Plastic

GMC n. 25/99

Multi-layer PET packaging with intermediate layer containing recycled material for carbonated soft drinks Ordinance n.987/1998
Plastic

GMC n. 16/93

Carbonated soft drinks returnable packaging of PET Ordinance n.105/99 – Annex IX
Plastic

GMC 56/98

Packaging and equipment of fluorinated Polyethylene in contact with food Ordinance n.105/99 – Annex VIII
Plastic

There is no equivalent resolution in Mercosur

General Criteria for Fixed EquipmentProvision, Storage and Distribution of Drinkable Water Ordinance n.105/99 – Annex VII

Cellulosics

GMC n. 40/2015

  • Overall provisions on cellulosic materials
  • Positive list of cellulosic materials
  • Overall migration in cellulosic materials
  • Migration of Fluorescent Bleachers in Paper and Cardboard
  • Migration of dyes in Paper and Cardboard
  • Recycled Cellulosic Materials
RDC 88/2016

Cellulosics

GMC n. 41/2015

Cellulosic materials for filtration and hot cooking RDC 89/2016

Cellulosics

GMC n. 42/2015

Cellulosic materials for baking or heating in oven RDC 90/2016
General

GMC n. 27/99

Adhesives for packaging RDC n.91/2001

General

GMC n.32/99 Analytical Reference Methodologies for Packaging Control RDC n.123/ 2001 – Annex II

Metallic

GMC n. 46/06 Metallic Materials RDC n.20/2007
Glass and Ceramics GMC n.55/92 Glass and ceramic materials in contact with food Ordinance SVS/MS n.27/1996
Regenerated cellulose GMC n.55/97 Films of regenerated cellulose RDC n.217/2002
Regenerated cellulose GMC n. 68/00 Regenerated Cellulose Casings RDC n.218/2002
Waxes and paraffins GMC n. 67/00 Waxes and Paraffins RDC n.122/2001

Elastomeric

  • GMC n. 54/97
  • GMC n. 28/99
  • GMC n. 32/99
Elastomeric RDC n.123/2001

 

In general, Mercosur regulations are also harmonised with food packaging requirements in the European Union (EU), the U.S. (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA) and Germany (the German Institute for Risk Assessment, or BfR), as well as other countries around the world. This helps to ensure that compliance with packaging requirements in one jurisdiction will make it easier to gain acceptance in Brazil.

Conclusion

As a major importer of pre-packaged food and food products, Brazil represents an important market opportunity for global food producers, distributors and retailers. Food packaging regulations in Brazil are extensive, but generally harmonised with packaging requirements in most other major jurisdictions around the world. However, ensuring compliance with specific requirements will benefit from seeking counsel from an experienced entity with knowledge of the packaged food industry as well as details regarding Brazil’s market access requirements.

For more information on how TÜV SÜD can assist your company in achieving compliance with Brazil’s food packaging requirements, email us at [email protected] . Or, find out more about our food packaging solutions here.

 

[1] “Global Agricultural Information Network Report—Brazil,” a report by the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), December 29, 2016. Available here (as of 6 June 2017). 

EXPLORE

Consumer Safety
White paper

Food Packaging

Find out about the principle regulatory requirements for food packaging and food contact materials in major jurisdictions around the world.

Learn more

VIEW ALL RESOURCES

Next Steps

Select Your Location

Global

Americas

Asia

Europe

Middle East and Africa