Voluntary product certification stems from a company need to ensure product conformity and performance, in compliance with recognised regulations or proprietary standards, thereby enhancing the value of and distinguishing their production on the market and gaining more trust from potential clients.
Requirements that can be certified must be measurable through objective parameters, certifiable by tests, and verified by assessing and monitoring the manufacturing and verification plan of the production process, with the purpose of ensuring conformity and initially verified quality over time.
The ICIM MOCA certification is dedicated to all manufacturers of materials and objects that come into contact with food. A complex and diversified supply chain that includes many economic operators in the manufacturing sector, such as manufacturers of machinery for processing, preparation, storage and administration of food and beverages, vending machines, food packaging, etc.
Compliance audits conducted by a third-party body allow companies to demonstrate to the market the correct compliance with legislative requirements, the adoption of good manufacturing practices, compliance with the safety requirements of their products to protect human health.
‘MOCA’ AND LEGISLATION IN FORCE
MOCA – Materials and Articles Intended to Come into Contact with Food, refers to all items:
- that are intended to come into contact with food,
- that are already in contact with food and are intended for this purpose,
- that are expected to come into contact with food or that can transfer their components to food under normal conditions of use.
The MOCA definition includes many different products that are widely regulated at national and European level even if, to date, there is no single harmonised legislative body.
Italian Legislative Decree 29/2017, published in the Official Gazette on 10.02.2017, establishes a sanctioning regime in Italy for violations of European legislation on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food. Fines of up to a maximum of € 80K can be imposed on those who produce, transform and/or distribute such products for violation of the standards provided for in Regulation (EC) no. 1935/2004 and in Regulation (EC) no. 2023/2006 and specific detailed legislation for the various materials.
The main violations for which the pecuniary administrative sanction is envisaged include:
- production and marketing of products which pose a hazard to human health,
- violation of the planned migration limits, deterioration of the organoleptic characteristics, failure to comply with good manufacturing practices,
- violation of communication, traceability or labelling obligations.
Italian Legislative Decree 29/2017 also provides for the obligation to notify the competent health Authority about all the facilities that carry out MOCA importing, production, transformation or distribution activities, with the exception of facilities where only activities relating to distribution to the final consumer are carried out.
ICIM MOCA CERTIFICATION AND THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS
The proprietary scheme developed by ICIM for voluntary product certification involves the following certification process:
- document analysis of the production process and of the products subject to certification,
- analysis of materials and identification of possible substance releases through specific laboratory tests,
- audits in the field to assess the adequacy of the production processes (selection and management of suppliers, production process control plan, equipment used, etc.), warehouse management, installation, use and maintenance instructions,
- issue of the certificate downstream of the successful results of the audits and laboratory tests.
The tests are performed at TIFQLab, an ISO 17025 certified laboratory accredited by ACCREDIA for the tests in question.
The annual surveillance audits and the related tests on a representative sample of the materials subject to certification, enable to verify that the requirements of the ICIM certification scheme are maintained throughout the 5-year validity period of the certification.
WHY CERTIFY MATERIALS AND COMPONENTS INTENDED TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH FOOD (MOCA)
The audits carried out by an independent third-party body allow companies to demonstrate to the market the adoption of good manufacturing practices and compliance with safety and conformity requirements.
The audits carried out by ICIM aim to verify the company’s ability to manage the risks arising from substance releases and the risks relating to the use of the items (if used properly according to the use and maintenance instructions), avoiding and preventing any alteration in the quality and wholesomeness of the food with which they come into contact.
The ICIM MOCA certification allows companies to have up-to-date and verified documentation, to respond adequately to the inspections conducted by the authorities in charge or to the demands of their customers, making them stand out on the reference markets by displaying a mark that emphasises professionalism and reliability.
- Consolidated experience gained in product certification and management systems, enabling to offer qualified professional skills and knowledge of legislation and applicable regulations.
- Technical comparison and continuous collaboration with ANIMA, the Italian Federation of Associations of Mechanical and Engineering Industries, whose members are subject to the MOCA regulations.
- Partnership with an Italian laboratory of proven reliability and competence.