BRC Packaging Certification
Derived from the better-known and widely used BRC Food and originally designed for food packaging and packing material suppliers, the BRC Packaging standard was developed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) with the support of the Institute of Packaging and the associations representing packaging manufacturers. Its objective is to ensure the hygiene and health safety of food contact packaging materials as well as of materials used as primary packaging in different sectors of the food industry, as consumer products and as secondary and tertiary packaging for any use.
The BRC Packaging certification is designed to help retailers meet all legal obligations and protect consumers, ensuring that private label suppliers operate in compliance with a number of basic requirements and well-defined quality standards.
As EN 45011-accredited product certification body, TÜV Italia offers the support of BRC-qualified auditors with strong expertise in specific sectors.
Our services at a glance
Currently, the application of the BRC Packaging Standard in its latest version covers:
- the manufacturing and supply of food packaging and bottling materials;
- the manufacturing and supply of other non-processed or semi-processed materials used in packaging or subsequent packaging procedures (inks, coatings, adhesives);
- disposable food-contact consumer goods (e.g. disposable plastic dishes, glasses and cutlery);
- packaging materials for cosmetics, personal hygiene products and childhood products.
The requirements of the Standard apply to any company operating in the packaging industry, regardless of size or complexity.
The Standard requires the following:
- A clear commitment from senior management;
- The adoption of a risk analysis-based system;
- The implementation of a quality management system and adequate manufacturing conditions.
The BRC Packaging Standard, issue 4
Today in its 4th version, the Standard has been revised to ensure stronger focus on the quality and functional aspects of packaging consistently with the established factory hygiene requirements. In particular, the number of categories has been reduced to two, based on the hygiene risk
associated with the application of the Packaging or Packaging Material:
- High Hygiene Risk Category for food-contact packaging or other high-hygiene-risk products;
- Low Hygiene Risk Category for consumer product packaging or secondary and tertiary packaging.
The new edition also revises some aspects of the auditing process including:
- “Fundamental” Clauses have been introduced, relating to systems that are crucial to the establishment and operation of an effective packaging manufacturing operation.
- The certificate grading system (A, B, C o D) based on the number and severity of non-conformities (critical, major or minor) found during the audit (also in connection to the “fundamental” clauses);
- The minimum audit frequency was set at 12 months, but a 6-momth frequency may be required for suppliers with up to 2 major non-conformities;
- Auditor requirements are now included in the standard to the end of enabling companies to offer greater transparency as to their qualification in connection to the auditing activities.
Prior to issuing the certificate, TÜV Italia performs the following actions:
- Production of a report in the format required by BRC;
- management of any deficiencies found (implementation schedule and methods, verification of closure if required);
- resolution by the TÜV Italia Approval Committee.
The compliance certificate can be graded A, B, C or D, according to the number of major and minor non-conformities observed during the inspection.
Validity of certification
The certificate has a one-year (grade A or B) or six-month (grade C) validity according to the conformity level attained. At least one audit must be performed each year, the positive outcome of which results in the issuance of a new certificate.