Food Law News - EU - 1996
2 August 1996: NATURAL MINERAL WATERS - Amendment to Directive 80/777
MAFF Letter, 2 August 1996
Amendment to the Natural Mineral Waters Directive
A proposal to amend the Directive relating to natural mineral waters (Directive 80/777) was published by the Commission in November 1994. A Common Position was adopted in December 1995 and two further amendments were adopted by the European Parliament at Second Reading on 22 May 1996.
The amended proposal, including the two European Parliament amendments, was adopted by qualified majority on 23 July 1996. The main objectives of the amending Directive are to take account of technical and scientific progress since 1980 and to rationalise the provisions of the Directive to bring them into line with other provisions of Community food law. The changes include:
- extending the period of recognition for natural mineral waters originating from third countries in order to simplify the administrative process;
- clarifying the circumstances under which the use of ozone-enriched air may be permitted in order to separate unstable elements from natural mineral waters under conditions which will ensure that the composition of the water as regards its essential constituents is not affected;
- making the inclusion of the statement of the analytical composition of a natural mineral water on the label compulsory;
- laying down certain provisions on spring waters;
- introducing procedures to allow for coordinated action between Member States in urgent situations which may present a risk to public health;
- providing for a committee procedure for the adoption of certain additional technical provisions.
Member States must permit trade in products complying with the new provisions within 12 months and prohibit trade in products not complying with them within 24 months (although products labelled before that time may continue to be sold).
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