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DEFRA Consultation, 2 October 2015
A copy of the consultation document is available on this site. See: The Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water (England) Regulations 2016 consultation document
This consultation seeks views on proposals to consolidate and update existing legislation: The Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water (England) Regulations 2007, as amended (the 2007 Regulations), governing the exploitation, bottling and marketing of natural mineral water, spring water and other bottled drinking water. The following measures are being discussed:
The Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water (England) Regulations 2016 (the 2016 Regulations) will revoke the 2007 Regulations when they come into force in early 2016.
The responses you provide will assist in the final drafting of the 2016 Regulations covering bottled drinking water in England; associated guidance; and will check the accuracy of various assumptions that have been made during the preparation of impact assessment documents.
Why We Are Consulting
In 2010 Food Composition and Standards Legislation in England became Defra’s responsibility. Shortly after, in 2011 the Coalition Government committed to reducing the burden that legislation can impose on stakeholders by publishing a list of deregulatory measures in England as part of “The Red Tape Challenge” (RTC).
In relation to the 2007 Regulations, this meant consolidating them so that businesses only need to refer to one set of regulations; and removing a national measure on the minimum calcium content of bottled drinking waters which have been softened or desalinated (as there is no longer a scientific evidence base for this measure and it is therefore considered a regulatory burden to industry).
A number of additional proposals are suggested in the consultation document, aimed at streamlining the 2016 Regulations with regards to sampling and appeal rights for the process of recognising a source for the production of natural mineral water, as well as ensuring a more proportionate enforcement regime. We would value your considered responses so that we may establish whether our proposals are appropriate or not.
The 2016 Regulations will also transpose new requirements for businesses to test and monitor for radioactive substances in drinking water in order to protect public health. Directive 2013/51/Euratom imposes new requirements on Member States to:
The Euratom Directive contains an exemption which allows Member States not to monitor for substances which are likely to stay below prescribed parametric values in a given supply of water over a certain period of time. The relating consultation questions seek comment in relation to guidance; the proposals for minimum frequencies for monitoring; the period of time for exemption; and the list of radionuclides for further investigation.