FSA Consultation Letter, 12 January 2010
A copy of the FSA consultation document is available on this site. See: FSA consultation document - water regulations.
Who will this consultation be of most interest to?
Bottled water producers, trade associations, importers, enforcers (trading standards officers, environmental health officers, port health authorities).
What is the subject of this consultation?
European Commission regulation on the use of activated alumina to remove fluoride from natural mineral waters and spring waters.
The Statutory Instrument (S.I.) being consulted on has been amended since the consultation started. A revised S.I. is included and the consultation extended to 9 February 2010. For further details please see the introduction section.
What is the purpose of this consultation?
To seek opinions on a S.I. putting in place enforcement powers for the above EC Regulation. The draft S.I. has also been revised to explicitly reproduce some of the sampling and monitoring requirements contained within Council Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption. However, this will not require enforcement authorities to carry out additional duties to those already required by Regulation 16 of the Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water Regulations 2007 (S.I 2785.).
The consultation on the revised S.I will be held for four weeks, from Tuesday 12 January 2010 to Tuesday 9 February 2010.
On 1 October 2009 the European Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health voted through a European Commission regulation setting conditions for using activated alumina to remove fluoride from natural mineral water and spring water.
Some changes to the Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water (England) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2785) (as amended) will be necessary to ensure that the necessary enforcement powers are in place. A draft S.I. is included, as is the Commission Regulation itself.
The draft S.I being consulted on has been amended to take into account a Reasoned Opinion issued by the European Commission on the UK implementation of Council Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption. The S.I. has been updated and the closing date for responses extended to Tuesday 9 February 2010.
The European Commission has identified a number of areas where it considers that national transposing legislation in the UK is not in full compliance with the requirements of Council Directive 98/83/EC.
One of these is that the Commission believe that the requirements of Articles 7(1), 7 (2), 7(3) and 7(6) and more specifically Annex II, Table B2 of Council Directive 98/83/EC have not been correctly transposed in England by The Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water (England) Regulations 2007 (as amended). Table B2 lists the minimum frequency of sampling and analysis for water put into bottles or containers intended for sale.
The UK replied to the Commission on this issue in June 2006 indicating that there is reference in the bottled water regulations (currently regulation 16) to the need for each food authority to take the steps required in respect of compliance with Articles 7(1), 7(2), 7(3) and 7(6) of Council Directive 98/83/EC.
However, the Commission remains of the opinion that this simple cross referral to the provisions of Council Directive 98/83/EC does not provide for adequate and sufficiently precise transposition of Council Directive 98/83/EC.
We have therefore revised the draft S.I. issued with the consultation to set conditions for using activated alumina to remove fluoride from natural mineral waters and spring waters. This revised draft amending S.I. is attached. This now reproduces the requirements of Articles 7(1), 7(2), 7(3), 7(6), and Table B2 of Council Directive 98/83/EC, and the resulting changes to the S.I. are highlighted.
This will be the sole consultation on this draft S.I. Comments received will be published online, along with the FSA response. The final version of the S.I. will then be implemented into English law.
It is understood that English natural mineral waters and spring water producers do not need to use this treatment, so no significant impact on stakeholders is expected from this legislation. As such, no Impact Assessment has been prepared for this draft S.I.
We do not believe that the draft S.I. will create any significant costs or benefits to businesses, as it will not require enforcement authorities to carry out additional duties to those currently required by Regulation 16 of the Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water (England) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2785).
However, if you think that these changes will result in any significant costs or benefits to businesses, please let us know.
Questions asked in this consultation:
Other relevant documents:
You may wish to refer to:
Responses are required by close 9 February 2010.