Gearing up for transition to v.6 of the Global Standard for Packaging Materials

DNV GL update on revisions to the BRCGS Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials from issue 5 to issue 6.

BRCGS Global Standard for Packaging Materials Issue 6 released in August assists producers along the entire supply chain deliver safe packaging materials, manage product quality to meet customers’ requirements and maintain legal compliance.

Originally published in 2001, BRCGS Global Standard for Packaging Materials was designed to protect the consumer by providing a common basis for the certification of companies supplying packaging to food producers and non-food products manufacturers.

This BRCGS standard specifies the product safety, quality and operational criteria that any packaging manufacturing organization must have in place to fulfil its obligations with regard to legal compliance and protection of the consumer. 

Transition to Issue 6

Companies already certified to the packaging materials standard have a 6-month period before all audits will be conducted to Issue 6 (from February 2020). 

The scope of the standard has been revised.  It no longer applies to sites where the primary operation of the factory is the production of consumer products. Such products are audited under the Global Standard for Consumer Products Issue 4.

Furthermore, hygiene requirements are now based solely on risk. This is a simplification, removing the previous two hygiene levels, placing responsibility on the site to include this in the hazard analysis and risk assessment process.

In addition, the unannounced audit program for the standard has been simplified. The site can choose either an announced or unannounced audit, reflecting a more consistent approach across the relevant standards such as food and consumer products

There is a continued emphasis on management commitment, hazard and risk analysis-based safety program and supporting companies’ quality management systems. Changes in issue 6 intend to direct audit focus toward implementation of good manufacturing practices within the production areas all the while recognizing the diversity within the packaging industry and the skills required to audit this sector. 

Main key changes to the standard:

  • Enhancing the processes used by quality management systems in printed packaging controls and through a hazard and risk analysis approach.
  • Continuing to ensure consistency of the audit process across the world.
  • The importance of a product safety and quality culture in the drive to improve transparency and coherence across the food supply chain.
  • Simplifying the hygiene requirements based solely on risk.
  • Introducing a new fundamental clause, corrective and preventive actions, to address issues and minimise the risk of their occurring.
  • Based on risk, putting a microbiological environmental monitoring programme in place.
  • Simplifying the unannounced audit programme.

(Source: BRCGS: Guide to key changes. Issue 6. Packaging Materials. 2019.)

Read more about the Transition to BRCGS Packaging Materials Issue 6.