Considerations on COM(2007)858 - Exploitation and marketing of natural mineral waters (Recast)

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dossier COM(2007)858 - Exploitation and marketing of natural mineral waters (Recast).
document COM(2007)858 EN
date June 18, 2009
table>(1)Council Directive 80/777/EEC of 15 July 1980 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the exploitation and marketing of natural mineral waters (3) has been substantially amended several times (4). Since further amendments are to be made, it should be recast in the interests of clarity.
(2)The laws of the Member States define natural mineral waters. Those laws lay down the terms on which natural mineral waters are recognised as such and govern the conditions for exploiting springs. They furthermore prescribe specific rules for marketing the waters in question.

(3)The differences between those laws hinder the free movement of natural mineral waters, creating disparate competitive situations, and consequently directly affect the functioning of the internal market.

(4)In this particular case, the elimination of these barriers may be achieved both by an obligation on each Member State to allow the marketing in its territory of the natural mineral waters recognised as such by each of the other Member States and by laying down common rules concerning in particular the microbiological requirements to be fulfilled and the conditions in which specific names must be used for certain of the mineral waters.

(5)The primary purposes of any rules on natural mineral waters should be to protect the health of consumers, to prevent consumers from being misled and to ensure fair trading.

(6)Pending the conclusion of agreements on mutual recognition of natural mineral waters between the Community and third countries, the terms should be laid down on which, until implementation of those agreements, similar products imported from third countries may be allowed to enter the Community as natural mineral waters.

(7)Care should be taken to ensure that natural mineral waters retain at the marketing stage those characteristics which enabled them to be recognised as such. Therefore, the containers used for packaging them should have suitable closures.

(8)In respect of labelling, natural mineral waters are subject to the general rules laid down by Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 March 2000 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs (5). Accordingly, this Directive may be limited to laying down the additions and derogations which should be made to those general rules.

(9)The inclusion of the statement of the analytical composition of a natural mineral water should be compulsory in order to ensure that consumers are informed.

(10)The measures necessary for the implementation of this Directive should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission (6).

(11)In particular, the Commission should be empowered to adopt limits for the concentrations of constituents of natural mineral waters, any necessary provisions for the indication on the labelling of high levels of certain constituents, the conditions of use of ozone-enriched air for the treatment of natural mineral water, information on the treatments of natural mineral water, methods of analysis to determine the absence of pollution of natural mineral waters, and the sampling procedures and methods of analysis necessary for checking the microbiological characteristics of natural mineral waters. Since those measures are of general scope and are designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive, inter alia, by supplementing it, they must be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC.

(12)When, on imperative grounds of urgency, the normal time-limits for the regulatory procedure with scrutiny cannot be complied with, the Commission should be able to apply the urgency procedure provided for in Article 5a(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC for the adoption of amendments to this Directive necessary in order to ensure the protection of public health.

(13)The new elements introduced into this Directive only concern the committee procedures. They therefore do not need to be transposed by the Member States.

(14)This Directive should be without prejudice to the obligations of the Member States relating to the time-limits for transposition into national law of the Directives set out in Annex IV, Part B,