IFS Packaging Guideline

Guideline to implement the IFS Food requirements for “Product packaging”

Development of the guideline

The development of the first IFS Food Packaging Guideline dates back to the year of publication of the IFS Food, Version 5 in 2007. The legislative changes in packaging, especially of the Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004, were reason to develop requirements concerning product packaging in IFS Food. The particular interest of these requirements is to secure currently the private label products of retailers. Additionally, all products covered by the scope of the food manufacturer shall be secured and inspected accordingly.

New version

The second edition of the IFS Food Packaging Guideline now includes the adjustment to Version 6 of IFS Food as well as the new legislative regulations and the latest developments of the market. This guideline relates to the existing requirements of IFS Food, Version 6 concerning product packaging only, including an interpretation thereof and does not contain additional requirements.


The implementation of the requirements in the food business caused more questions and problems than expected, since considering the legal requirements apparently requires a need to differentiate responsibilities within the supply chain. Some of the questions of IFS Food have been directly passed to the packaging industry, without considering whether those issues fall within their area of responsibility.


IFS Food Packaging Guideline provides help and support for implementing the requirements of IFS Food for product packaging. The guideline is primarily intended for the food industry and secondly for manufacturers of food packaging as well as other interested parties (auditors, certification bodies). Parts of it may also be applied to the IFS HPC Standard.

Furthermore, it shall also contribute to an understanding of the IFS Food requirements in up- and downstream sectors (suppliers, suppliers of packaging materials, food retailers …) including a clarification of responsibilities in various areas. The requirements in IFS Food, Version 6 for product packaging and this guideline concern the suppliers of packaging materials (hereinafter referred to as packaging manufacturers) only indirectly. The distinction from IFS PACsecure will be given as well.

This guideline focuses on the legislation of the EU. It may be applied, however, outside the EU considering the national legislation.


Purpose of this guideline is to increase the safety of product packaging in companies certified according to IFS Food. In addition, the professional knowledge associated with IFS Food shall be improved so that product packaging is practical and meaningfully ensured.



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