ECMA Good Manufacturing Practice for Food Safety

Consumer health and safety is a top priority for the food and beverage industry. Safe packaging is an essential vehicle to meet the requirements and expectations set by legislators, brand-owners, retailers and final consumers. 

As the representative body for the folding carton industry, the European Carton Makers Association published the first version of its Good Manufacturing Practice Guide for food safety in 2011.
The ECMA GMP was last updated in 2021 and included the latest folding carton specifics which were not covered in detail in the sectors most widely used scheme - BRCGS Global Standard for Packaging Materials (Issue 6).  Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) 2.1 has been extended to include guidance on FSSC 22000. Compliance to our GMP is via self-declaration and continues to require the manufacturer to hold a GFSI recognized certification. Compliance is recognised with a certificate and prestigious GMP compliance seal.

THE ECMA GMP Guide 2.1 is for companies which manufacture folding cartons that are intended to come into contact with food. The guide under-pins the core focus that the European folding carton sector has on consumer health & safety. The new ECMA GMP 2.1 compliments the existing GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) certification schemes, such as the BRCGS and FSSC 22000 and includes folding carton specifics which are not covered by the GFSI schemes.Now, the text not only contains guidance in relation to the BRCGS Issue 6 Packaging but also covers FSSC 22000. 

To download the GMP Version 2.1 please click the button below:

More information on the ECMA GMP programme can be obtained by contacting ECMA at  

Self-declaration and compliance seal
Companies can issue a self-declared compliance statement for the manufacturing of food cartons.

The online self-declaration form can be accesssed 
here. The declaration should be completed and submitted to the ECMA secretariat including copies of valid certificates (BRCGS Packaging Issue 6, FSSC 22000, …). The self-declared compliant companies are listed on the ECMA website, are part of the internal food safety update network and are allowed to use the ECMA compliance seal.

Check the list of self-declared GMP compliant ECMA members here.

As this ECMA developed GMP compliance seal is self declared and voluntary, it may not be construed by any means as an approval or endorsement by ECMA of compliance with the GMP guide or with any applicable requirements, including the safety requirement, of cartons manufactured by companies using the seal. 

The publication by ECMA of the list of self-declared compliant companies using the seal is not either to be construed as an approval or endorsement by ECMA. The use of the seal is made by each individual company under its sole responsibility, having due regard to the GMP guide and the applicable legislation