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Since 1988, the level of lead and cadmium migrating from ceramic ware into food has been controlled by the Ceramic Ware (Safety) Regulations 1988, which were introduced under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. These Regulations were revoked across the UK on 20th May 2006 as new Regulations were introduced to implement the amending provisions of European Directive 2005/31/EC.
In England, the new requirements were introduced under the Ceramic Articles in Contact with Food (England) Regulations 2006. Analogous legislation was also introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (food safety is now a devolved policy area). Further information on the devolved implementations can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.
The requirements in respect of the migration limits for lead and cadmium remain unchanged under the new Regulations. The new requirements concern the need for manufacturers and importers to maintain documentation that demonstrates compliance with these limits (and to show this on request) and to produce declarations of compliance that must accompany the products at all stages of distribution (including retail). The latter requirement transfers to distributors and retailers as the product progresses through distribution. The documentation and declaration requirements will only apply to products first placed on the market on or after 20th May 2007. The Department has produced guidance to accompany the new Regulations.
Although BERR introduced this legislation, and will continue to make the accompanying guidance available on this website, responsibility for all food safety aspects of the Regulations has transferred to the Food Standards Agency. Contact details for enquiries are provided in the guidance.