BRCGS Packaging Certification : Conformity of packaging production

Packaging is essential to protect, preserve and enhance products, demanding strict quality and safety standards. The BRCGS certification for packaging, approved by the GFSI, guarantees compliance with quality, hygiene and safety standards, thus strengthening the confidence of customers and consumers.

What is the BRCGS Packaging certification ?

The BRCGS Packaging certification is an international standard for quality and safety criteria for packaging and packaging material manufacturers.

Part of the BRCGS stands for "Brand Reputation through Compliance of Global Standards" (which translates into brand reputation through compliance with international standards) and developed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), a group of major British retailers, this certification is also recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), a global entity dedicated to improving food safety.

This certification is universal and covers all types of packaging, used for both food and non-food products. It encompasses a variety of materials such as plastic, paper, metal, glass or wood. Manufacturers producing directly from raw materials or those who distribute packaging in the raw state or after modification, are all concerned.

The ambition of the BRCGS Packaging certification is to ensure the conformity of packaging and materials associated with legal, regulatory and customer-specific standards, with a constant concern for quality, hygiene and safety. It also aims to strengthen trust and clarity among supply chain actors while minimizing the risk of contamination, fraud or non-compliance with standards.

Which organisations offer BRCGS Packaging certification ?

BRCGS Packaging certification requires the intervention of a certification body accredited by the BRC, the entity at the origin of this standard. There are various certification bodies available, varying by country, industry and type of packaging or packaging materials. Below are some examples of organizations offering BRCGS Packaging certification :

SGS

As a global leader in inspection, control, analysis and certification, SGS offers BRCGS Packaging certification for a full range of packaging and materials, whether for food or other products. SGS supports manufacturers in developing management systems to ensure safety, hygiene and quality.

LNE

French organization specialized in certification, testing, metrology and training, the LNE offers this certification for food packaging, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and medical. It supports manufacturers to meet regulatory and customer requirements, while promoting the improvement of their performance and competitiveness.

Bureau Veritas

Bureau Veritas, an internationally recognized entity in the field of certification, inspection, audit and consulting, provides BRCGS Packaging certification for all sectors, whether they concern food products or not. It helps manufacturers control health, environmental and social risks, helping to enhance their brand.

What are the specific requirements of the BRCGS Packaging certification for my industry ?

BRCGS Packaging certification is based on a well-defined framework divided into five core segments: quality management, risk analysis, operational requirements, product specifications and processes. This framework applies universally to all areas requiring the use of packaging, whether intended for the food sector or not.

However, depending on the type of packaging you produce or supply, additional requirements may apply. These detailed specifications are contained in annexes annexed to the basic framework, currently covering six specific categories :

Annex 1 : Packaging in contact with food products

Concerns all packaging intended to be in direct or indirect contact with food. This section details the standards of conformity, traceability, migration, smell and taste, composition, and labelling specific to these materials.

Annex 2 : Packaging in contact with cosmetic, pharmaceutical and medical products

Addressed to packaging for cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and medical products, this annex requires strict compliance with guidelines regarding regulatory compliance, traceability, migration, sensory characteristics, and composition and labelling.

Annex 3 : Glass packaging and packaging materials

This category applies to glass packaging, regardless of its destination. It focuses on the elimination of risks such as contamination by foreign bodies, the management of glass breakage, the appropriate training of personnel and the control of equipment.

Annex 4 : Metal packaging and packaging materials

This section applies to metal packaging, which is intended to prevent contamination by metal foreign objects, manage breakage incidents, train personnel and maintain equipment.

Annex 5 : Wood packaging and packaging materials

This section is intended for packaging and packaging materials made of wood, without distinction as to their use for food or other products. It details the standards to follow to avoid the presence of foreign bodies, effectively manage incidents of wood breakage, adequately train staff and conduct regular inspections of equipment.

Annex 6 : Paper packaging and packaging materials

This part concerns packaging and paper packaging materials, whether used for food products or not. It specifies the guidelines to be followed for the prevention of foreign bodies, the management of paper tears, the necessary training of staff and the inspection of equipment. To find out more about the specific criteria of the BRCGS Packaging certification for your sector, refer to the relevant reference and annexes on the BRC website.

You can also contact a certification body approved by the BRC for support in your certification project. Yvea recommends through its partners, reliable organizations offering competitive rates for the BRCGS Packaging certification. Feel free to contact us for more information.

What are the steps to obtain BRCGS Packaging certification ?

To obtain BRCGS Packaging certification, you must follow a structured process. Here are the key steps:

Step 1 : Download the repository and interpretation guides

Start by downloading the repository and interpretation guides from the OCR website. These documents set out the criteria to be met to obtain certification. They are essential to understand what is expected of you.

Step 2 : Contact an accredited certification body

Choose a certification body recognized by the BRC, based on your location, industry and type of packaging. You can find a list of accredited organizations on the BRC website or by asking us (by contacting Yvea).

Step 3 : Learn the requirements of the standard

It is crucial to be trained to master the requirements of the BRCGS Packaging standard. Whether online, face-to-face or within your company, many options are available through the BRC, a certification body or an accredited training body. You can also opt for stand-alone training with the resources available online.

Step 4 : Complete a Self-Assessment

Conduct a self-assessment to determine how well you meet the requirements of the standard. Use the self-assessment tool proposed on the BRC website to identify your strengths and areas for improvement, and develop an action plan to address any non-conformities.

Step 5 : Plan and Complete the Audit

The final step towards BRCGS Packaging certification is to plan and pass the audit. This process requires agreement with your certification body on the date, location and duration of this crucial review. The audit will take place directly at your production or supply site and will include three main aspects: document review, observation of current practices and interviews with your team members.

The objective of the auditor is to verify that your company meets the standards of the BRCGS standard and to identify any non-compliance. Upon completion of this assessment, you will receive a detailed audit report and a rating reflecting your level of compliance. A positive rating means the award of your BRCGS Packaging certification, valid for one year.

How much does a BRCGS Packaging certification cost ?

The price of the BRCGS Packaging certification varies according to criteria such as the size of your company, the type of packaging or packaging materials you produce or supply, the desired level of conformity, the chosen certification body, and the location of your company. There is no set price to obtain this certification, however, you can get an idea of the cost by considering the following aspects:

The cost of training

Becoming familiar with the requirements of the BRCGS Packaging standard through training is essential both to pass the audit and to maintain your certification. The training is available online, in person or on site, depending on your availability and preferences. The price of this training varies according to its form, duration, content, and provider. You can find suitable training courses on the BRC website or at recognised training or certification bodies.

The cost of the audit

The audit marks the final step before obtaining BRCGS Packaging certification. Carried out by a competent and independent auditor, from a certification body approved by the BRC, the cost of the audit takes into account its duration, complexity and location. It generally includes the auditor’s travel, hospitality and dining expenses, as well as the costs of certification and issuing the certificate.

You can compare the offers of the various certification bodies on the BRC website that directs you to reliable partners offering preferential rates for the BRCGS Packaging certification.

The cost of maintaining certification

Maintaining your BRCGS Packaging certification requires meeting the requirements of the standard and completing a renewal audit each year. Expenses related to maintaining certification are influenced by your level of compliance, the number of non-conformities to rectify, and the cost of the renewal audit. You have the opportunity to reduce these costs by continuously optimizing your quality, hygiene and safety management system, taking into account the advice and tools offered on the BRC website.

How long does it take to obtain BRCGS Packaging certification ?

The length of time it takes to obtain a BRCGS Packaging certification varies depending on several key elements, such as the degree of preparation, the number of sites to be examined, the availability of certifying bodies and the processing time of the certificate itself. Although there is no specific duration for this certification, you can estimate the time required by considering the following factors:

Time to prepare

This phase includes time allocated to training on required standards, internal evaluation, development of a quality, health and safety management system, and resolution of any identified deviations. The duration of this step varies according to your starting point, your commitment and your effectiveness. It can range from a few weeks to several months.

Audit time

This period represents the time spent by the auditor on your production or distribution site to monitor whether your operations meet established standards. The duration of the audit is influenced by the size and complexity of your site, as well as the level of compliance you are aiming for. It can range from a few hours to several days.

Certification time

This time corresponds to the time required for the certification body to process your audit file, validate your results, issue your certificate and announce it on the BRC portal. This time depends on the quality of your audit report, the number of non-conformities to rectify and the volume of work of the certification body. It can range from a few days to a few weeks.

Obtaining a BRCGS Packaging certification may take a few weeks to several months, depending on the various elements mentioned. To speed up this process, it is recommended that you prepare thoroughly, select an effective certification body and promptly correct any non-compliance. At Yvea, we help you on your journey towards BRCGS Packaging certification by offering you solutions from reputable partners. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Is there a need to renew the BRCGS Packaging certification ?

The validity of the BRCGS Packaging certification is 12 months, starting on the date of your initial audit or renewal. To maintain your active certification, a renewal audit must be performed before your current certificate expires. The following are the essential steps for renewing your certification:

Preparing for renewal

Start by ensuring that your quality, hygiene and safety management system meets the required standards. Correct any non-conformities found in the previous audit. Tools and tips to help you in this process are available on the BRC website.

The choice of certification body

You are free to choose your certification body, provided that it is accredited by the BRC to conduct audits and issue BRCGS Packaging certificates. You can choose to continue with your current certification body or choose a new one if you wish. Compare offers on the BRC website or through Yvea by offering its partners with competitive rates.

The progress of the renewal audit

The renewal audit takes place in a similar manner to the initial audit, but without prior announcement. The auditor visits your production or supply site to verify compliance with the standard’s criteria, identifies potential non-conformities and assesses you. If your rating is satisfactory, you will receive a new BRCGS Packaging certificate, valid for a further 12 months.

La procédure classique

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

1

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

2

Revue documentaire

Voici la liste des documents nécessaires pour l'ouverture du dossier :
Proforma ou facture finale
Fiche descriptive pour chaque code de nomenclature
Rapports de test ou certificats d'analyse pour chaque code de nomenclature
Certificat de qualité ISO 9001 ou équivalent
Déclaration d'importation à demander à votre acheteur (selon la destination)

3

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